Working Together for New Glories of the Oriental Civilization
2010-12-17 14:31

Address by H. E. Wen Jiabao

Premier of the State Council of the People's Republic of China

At the Indian Council of World Affairs

New Delhi, 16 December 2010

Your Excellency S. M. Krishna, Minister of External Affairs,

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I want to thank the Indian Council of World Affairs for its warm reception and thoughtful arrangements. It is a great pleasure for me to meet you, distinguished representatives of people from various sectors of India. I know that hundreds of millions of Indians are watching the live coverage of my speech, as are hundreds of millions of Chinese. Standing on this podium, I feel deeply honored and a strong sense of responsibility. First of all, please allow me to extend, on behalf of the Chinese people, warm greetings to the hard-working, talented and great people of India.

China and India are two ancient civilizations in the East. We are friendly neighbors sharing common mountains and rivers and our combined population exceeds 2.5 billion. I believe, when our two nations have heart-to-heart communication, the whole world will pay attention and listen to what we say. We have reason to be proud of it.

My last visit to India was in 2005 and India's fast development left a deep impression on me. Over the past five years, India has maintained robust economic growth and made major headway in science and technology. In particular, you have done an exceptional job in tackling the severe international financial crisis. The rise of India has caught the eye of the whole world and added to the confidence and strength of all developing countries, China included. I want to take this opportunity to offer you my sincere congratulations.

The Upanishad says, "The truth is above all and is the common foundation of conception." Prime Minister Singh and I are old friends. We have had long discussions on a dozen occasions and forged a sincere friendship. We both believe that independence, self-ownership and self-improvement are the soul of a nation, and only by staying open and inclusive can a country be strong and prosperous. And we agree that there is enough space in the world for the development of both China and India and enough areas for our two countries to cooperate. Such important consensus is deeply rooted in the time-honored cultural traditions of the two countries and our long history of exchanges. It comes from our correct reading of the international situation and keen understanding of our national interests.

For thousands of years, numerous ties have linked China and India closely together. The famous Silk Road witnessed many touching stories. Buddhism from India enriched the Chinese culture, while the traditional Chinese culture left its imprint in India. India's sage poet Rabindranath Tagore forged a deep friendship with many famous Chinese scholars. Chinese Sanskrit master Ji Xianlin devoted his whole life to the study and teaching of ancient Indian culture. The long history and profound impact of the exchanges between our two countries are truly rarely seen in the history of world civilization.

In pursuing the just cause of fighting colonial rule for national independence and liberation, the Chinese and Indian people sympathized with and supported each other. India's assistance to China's anti-Fascist war has been written into the annals of history, and the heroic deeds of Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis will be forever engraved on our mind. India was one of the first countries to establish diplomatic relations with the New China, and an ardent advocate for restoring the lawful seat of the People's Republic of China at the United Nations. Together, our two countries initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and played an important role at the famous Bandung Conference, making outstanding contributions to upholding the independence and solidarity of Asian and African countries and promoting world peace.

China and India are two big neighboring countries with different historical and cultural background and social systems. It is hardly avoidable that we may have some disagreements and differences. China-India relations experienced major twists and turns. But they were only a short episode in our 2,000-year history of friendly exchanges. From our rich cultural heritage, we can draw wisdom and courage to face history squarely and work together for the future. Nothing can shake our firm conviction to pursue good-neighborly relations and friendship.

Entering the 21st century, both China and India have moved onto the fast track of development, and our bilateral relations have made important headway. We have established the strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity and set out the "Ten-Pronged Strategy". Bilateral trade has grown by nearly 20 times within ten years. China has become India's largest trading partner and India is China's largest trading partner in South Asia. We have intensified exchanges, and jointly held a series of major activities. We now have a stronger desire to know more about and learn from each other. China and India have worked in concert to meet global challenges such as climate change, advance the reform of the international financial and economic systems and promote regional cooperation. We have strengthened cooperation within the BRIC and G20 mechanisms, and effectively safeguarded our common interests. Our endeavors have attracted the attention of the entire world.

As a Chinese saying goes, "When drinking water, one should think of its source." The current sound momentum of China-India good-neighborly relations has not come easily. We will always remember the dedicated efforts of the older generations of Chinese and Indian leaders. I wish to take this opportunity to express heartfelt thanks and pay high tribute to people from all sectors who have long been committed to China-India friendship and cooperation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

The world today is undergoing major development, major adjustments and major changes. Peace, development and cooperation remain the theme of our time. The overall strength of developing countries is rapidly rising, and the trend towards a multi-polar world is gaining momentum. On the other hand, factors of insecurity, instability and uncertainty still exist. The prevailing situation has brought both major opportunities and severe challenges to developing countries, China and India included. Our two countries are at a crucial stage of development. We should seize the opportunities and lose no time in expanding and deepening our converging interests and actively advance strategic cooperation and practical cooperation. Only in this way can we speed up development, meet challenges together, share development achievements and usher in a bright future. I believe that China and India have the responsibility and the ability to fulfill this historic mission.

- To accelerate economic development and improve people's livelihood represents the most ardent hope of the two peoples. We have made remarkable achievements, but we are still under the huge pressure of population, resources and the environment. We both have a long way to go before we can realize modernization. Similar experiences, similar national conditions and common challenges have deepened our mutual understanding, and made it necessary for us to support each other.

- Both China and India have made hard yet successful exploration in the endeavor for national rejuvenation, and each has developed unique advantages in the economic, scientific, technological and social fields. Close cultural and people-to-people links, geographical proximity and the huge market potential have given us many favorable conditions to enhance exchanges and mutual learning and expand mutually beneficial cooperation. In the past, our two great civilizations advanced side by side. Looking to the future, I am convinced that we will achieve common progress and prosperity.

- China and India share broad consensus and common interests on major international affairs. We both follow an independent foreign policy and a win-win strategy of opening-up. We both stand for a multi-polar world and diversity of civilizations. We both are influential members of many important regional and international institutions and mechanisms. Through closer coordination, we will be able to better uphold and advance our common interests.

- China-India relations have gone beyond the bilateral scope and assumed increasing global and strategic significance. The combined population of our two countries accounts for two fifths of the world's total. To enable our two peoples to lead a peaceful and prosperous life is a great undertaking unprecedented in human history. It is also the biggest contribution that China and India can make to the world. The common development of China and India will give a strong boost to Asia's revitalization. And better coordination between China and India will greatly enhance the strength and confidence of developing countries and contribute to a more just and equitable international order.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This year marks the 60th anniversary of China-India diplomatic ties. It is a new starting point for our relations. My visit to your country has been successful and fruitful. I had candid and in-depth discussions with Prime Minister Singh. We reached broad consensus on furthering China-India strategic cooperation. The pressing task now is to turn consensus into reality.

We have decided to launch the mechanism of regular mutual visits by heads of state and government to provide stronger political guidance to the development of our relations. China stands ready to work with India to intensify exchanges and multi-level consultations between political parties and in the military field to enhance political and strategic mutual trust. China always views India's development and growing strength in a positive light and regards India as an important partner and friend. China and India should always be partners and friends. We should never be rivals. We should tell this to everyone. Let this be our shared conviction. The China-India boundary question is a historical legacy. It will not be easy to completely resolve this question. It requires patience and will take a fairly long period of time. Only with sincerity, mutual trust and perseverance can we eventually find a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution. In recent years, we have put in place the special representatives' meeting mechanism and formulated the political parameters and guiding principles. We have had good dialogue and communication, and expressed the sincere desire to work together to resolve the boundary question. In the face of difficulty, the most important thing to do is to press ahead along the right track, narrow differences step by step, build consensus and increase confidence. We should step up consultation and coordination on border affairs and maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas.

We should work together to hit the target of US$100 billion in two-way trade by 2015. During my visit, the business communities of the two countries have signed over 40 economic and trade cooperation agreements with a total value of over US$16 billion. Before that, the Shanghai Electric Group of China and other two Chinese companies signed with their Indian counterparts contract of 59 coal-fired power generating units worth up to US$8.3 billion. These units are installations of efficient and clean energy. During this visit, China has agreed to provide over US$4 billion in buyer's credit for the implementation of this project. A number of well-known Indian businesses have obtained considerable orders from the Chinese procurement mission. All this shows that our business cooperation enjoys huge potential and broad prospects. China understands India's concern over the bilateral trade imbalance. We are ready to take measures to facilitate access of Indian IT products, pharmaceuticals and farm produce to the Chinese market. Meanwhile, our two sides should handle appropriately trade frictions, oppose all forms of protectionism, and jointly create conditions for the launch of regional trade arrangement negotiations.

Trans-border rivers are a source of livelihood for the people living along the rivers. To properly preserve, utilize and manage the trans-border rivers is our shared responsibility. Over the years, in order to help the downstream areas with disaster prevention and mitigation, the Chinese technical personnel have defied the hostile natural conditions in the upper reaches, overcome tremendous difficulties and even risked their lives to handle emergencies and to collect flood season hydrological data that are shared with India. China takes seriously India's concern about the trans-border rivers, and we are ready to further improve the joint working mechanism. We will do whatever we can and do it even better. I would like to assure our Indian friends that all the upstream development activities by China will be based on scientific planning and study and will take into consideration of both upstream and downstream interests.

Prime Minister Singh and I have announced that next year will be the Year of China-India Exchange. The two sides should take this opportunity to enhance mutual understanding and friendship. We should focus our efforts on youth mutual visits by 500 young people from both countries next year. We should earnestly implement the agreements in culture and education. In this regard, China will provide US$1 million for the reconstruction of the Nalanda University. We should encourage greater exchanges between local governments and give full play to the role of people's friendship organizations. And we should promote more interactions between the media with a view to enhancing the understanding and friendship between our two peoples.

China and India have shared interests and common views on the issue of the UN Security Council reform. We both maintain that priority should be given to increasing the representation of developing countries. Closer cooperation between our two countries on Security Council reform will help uphold the interests of developing countries and promote democracy in international relations. China understands and supports India's desire to play a bigger role in the United Nations, including its Security Council. As a fast-growing big country with over one billion people, India should and can play an increasingly important role in international affairs. Our two countries should also step up coordination and collaboration on other major international and regional issues, work together to advance regional and sub-regional cooperation in Asia, and devote our efforts to promoting world peace and development.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

This morning, I went to the Raj Ghat and laid a wreath in great reverence. I walked around the tomb, spreading petals to every corner of it. I felt as if I could see Mahatma Gandhi's unyielding image and clear eyes. For peace and justice, Mahatma Gandhi travelled from one village to another with firm steps, knowing no fatigue. He was intrepid, and so much so that no force or individual could make him stop. This celebrated leader of India's independence movement gave valuable support to the national liberation endeavor of the Chinese people. This great man, a man of love and integrity, has always lived in my heart.

In history, the Chinese and the Indian civilizations added radiance to each other, and had a profound impact on the course of human civilization. I am convinced that in today's increasingly globalized world, China and India, two great nations that have gone through so many trials and tribulations, will, as always, remain vibrant, live up to the important mission bestowed by history, and work together for new glories of the Oriental civilization.

Thank you.

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