Remarks by Ambassador Luo Zhaohui at CII Seminar on China-India Relations
2018/01/04

(January 3, 2018, Claridges Hotel, New Delhi)

Mr. Amitabh Kant, CEO of NITI Aayog,

Shri Tarun Vijay, Chairman of CII India-China Parliamentary Group

Mr. He Yafei, Former Vice Foreign Minister of China

Friends, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Namaste!

It’s my great pleasure to be here to share my thoughts on China-India relations. I agree with what Mr. Vijay, Mr. Kant and Mr. He Yafei have said. We attach great importance to the China-India relations as well as today’s function.

As I know, Shri. Tarun Vajay, and CII have shown their strong interest in promoting China-India economic and people-to-people relations for a long time. You’ve done a great job to organize today’s seminar. This is the very first function in the New Year I have attended. I really appreciate your efforts.

In the year of 2017, tremendous changes took place in China. China’s GDP reached 12.3 trillion USD, with per capita GDP reaching 9000 USD. More that 10 million rural people were lifted out of poverty. In particular, the 19th National Congress of Communist Party of China was successfully concluded in Beijing, during which the CPC Constitution was amended to include Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era as a new component of the Party's guide for action. The 19th National Congress also outlines Chinese diplomacy in the new era to promote the construction of a community of shared future for mankind and a new type of international relations.

In the year of 2017, the China-India relations also witnessed remarkable progress. The two-way trade volume reached 69 billion USD from January to October. The two-way personnel exchanges reached 1 million. Of course, we also handled the Doklam incident in a mature manner. We should draw lessons from it and prevent it from happening again.

Last September, President Xi and Prime Minister Modi met in Xiamen, and agreed to turn the page and look forward. They set the direction for bilateral relations and the guideline for future cooperation between two countries.

You may have taken note that Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, and the new member of Political Bureau of the CPC and State Councilor Yang Jiechi, visited India within ten days last month. The main purpose of the visits is to implement the importance consensus reached by our leaders in Xiamen.

During their visits, they had in-depth discussions with their Indian counterparts, called on Indian President and Prime Minister respectively. Both sides agree that the China-India relationship should be comprehensive, enduring and strategic in nature. China and India should treat each other as opportunity and partners, rather than challenges and opponents, so as to allow the Dragon and the Elephant dance together, and make One plus One Eleven.

On future cooperation, I would like to highlight the following points:

First, we should deepen economic cooperation. We are both developing countries with reform and opening up as our national policies. China is talking about Chinese Dream and Two Centenary Goals. In the following three years, China will focus on poverty-elimination and environmental protection. Our Indian friends are talking about the New India and Make in India. We should exchange and share our experiences in governance.

In the past few years, we have reached lots of consensuses on promoting economic cooperation on high-speed railway, industrial parks and smart cities. We should implement these consensuses.

More than 500 Chinese companies are doing business in India. The Chinese side will continue to encourage more Chinese companies to invest in India. We hope and believe that Indian’s business environment would become easier and more friendly.

Secondly, we should strengthen the exchanges of media and culture. Media plays a very important role in helping people know each other. China-India Media Summit should be held as soon as possible. More and more India journalists are visiting China. Last year, the Indian movie Dangal got a nice box office in China. President Xi mentioned this movie twice when meeting with Prime Minister Modi. Yoga is very popular in China. These all could add more color to the long-standing cultural relations between our two countries.

Thirdly, we should strengthen communication and coordination on international and regional affairs of mutual interests. Against the backdrop of the waves of anti-free trade, anti-globalization, protectionism and populism, China and India share common positions on many international and regional issues. We could work together in the areas of climate change, counter-terrorism and connectivity.

Fourthly, we should deal with differences properly. Frankly, China and India have boundary issues as well as other differences. Despite these differences, we should strengthen strategic communication through dialogues and consultations at different levels. By this way, we could further foster mutual trust.

Fifthly, we should set some long-term visions for the China-India relations. As I mentioned on many occasion, we can consider negotiating Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and India, restarting the negotiations of China-India Free Trade Agreement, striving for early harvests on boundary issues, and actively exploring the strategic synergy between China’s Belt and Road Initiative and India’s Act East Policy.

Friends, I firmly believe that China-India relations will have a new look with bright future in the New Year. I have expectations for it and I have faith in it.

Thank you all.

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