December 03, 2020
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'We Need To Improve Various Border-Related Mechanisms...'

'... that we have to put into place and make them more efficient, and we need to appropriately manage and resolve our differences'

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'We Need To Improve Various Border-Related Mechanisms...'

Media statement by the Chinese Prime Minister at the joint press conference

Your Excellency Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, ladies and gentlemen, friends of the press: It is my great pleasure in joining the Prime Minister to meet with our friends from the press and to inform you as soon as possible the consensus and the outcomes the two sides have arrived.

Both last night and this morning, together with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other officials of the Indian Government, we have had multiple, friendly, in-depth and candid discussions. The most important outcome of these discussions is that the leaders of the two countries have reached strategic consensus and deepened our strategic trust.

Both sides believe that each country should see the other’s development as a major opportunity for itself. China and India have a combined population that exceeds one-third of humanity. Amicable relations between China and India will be a positive thing for Asia, and a common development of China and Asia will provide new engines for the world economy.

Since we are strategic partners and we are good friends that can speak to each other with candour, so we do not deny that there are some problems between the two sides. Both sides believe that with regard to the boundary question, one that is left over by history, the two sides have over time established the principles for settling this question. And in the meantime we have worked together to maintain tranquillity and peace in the border areas. Both sides believe that we need to improve various border-related mechanisms that we have to put into place and make them more efficient, and we need to appropriately manage and resolve our differences.

With regard to Indian concerns about transborder rivers, in recent years we have shared hydrological information with the Indian side bearing in mind the overall interests of our relations and acting in a humanitarian spirit. And we stand ready to step up communication with the Indian side with regard to the development of water resources and environmental protection.

China and India are friendly neighbours. So, neither side will do anything that damages the interests of the other side without getting benefit himself. The two sides have discussed these issues very candidly and we can inform the content of discussions to the press. That is because we have strategic consensus on these issues. And our two time-honoured nations have the wisdom to resolve these issues and overcome our differences.

Both the Prime Minister and I believe that there are far more shared interests between China and India than the differences that we have, and both sides need to draw wisdom from our long history and learn from our respective vast experiences. We need to confront the various issues with a broad mind and conduct dialogue on these issues in a mature and sensible way. We need to appropriately handle our cooperation by maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border areas and on the transborder river issues.

The strategic consensus that we have arrived at creates the condition for expanding shared interests between China and India, and it also lays down the foundation for our two countries to cease the opportunities and modernize our two large developing countries.

China and India have a combined population of 2.5 billion. Together we account for over one-third of the world’s population. Amicable relations, deeper cooperation and common development between China and India are a true blessing for Asia and the world at large. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stated that the world is big enough to accommodate the growth aspirations of both China and India. I might add that without the common development of China and India, Asia won’t become strong and the world won’t become a better place.

By conducting effective and a sincere dialogue, the Prime Minister and I have reached the abovementioned consensus. These also represent the joint views of our two governments and our two peoples. We believe by arriving at these consensus we have made a big stride forward in our relationship and that there are unprecedented and enormous opportunities for opening a new chapter in China-India relations.

On the basis of the consensus, this time the two Governments during my visit have reached a joint statement that covers five major areas. On the basis of strategic mutual trust the two sides have reached agreement on a series of cooperation agreements that cover a multiple range of areas. These will help to boost all-round cooperation between China and India, the world’s two largest developing countries. And just now the Prime Minister, myself, government officials from both sides, and the press, friends of the press, have witnessed the signing of these agreements. These are just the seeds that we sow today but in the near future they will blossom into towering trees laden with rich fruits.

Secondly, the two sides will discuss and explore ways to achieve trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and to work out a practical roadmap for arriving at a dynamic balance in our trading relationship. The two sides will also promote cooperation in infrastructure and industrial zones so that we can connect and complement the two largest developing markets of China and India.

Thirdly, the two sides have agreed to jointly explore the establishment of a BCIM economic corridor, and also to strengthen border trade between us. This way we will be able to increase connectivity between East Asia and South Asia.

Both between our two time-honoured civilizations and in the present day context we need to increase people-to-people exchanges in the fields of tourism, culture, youth affairs and nongovernmental ties so as to further deepen mutual understanding between our two peoples. And number five, the two sides have agreed to increase coordination and communication on major international and regional issues. Both sides would like to see the other to play a more important and constructive role in international affairs in the United Nations including in its Security Council.

It is fair to say that during this trip the two sides have arrived at multiple significant outcomes that can help to both deepen our strategic mutual trust and practical cooperation between the two sides. And that places us in a very favourable position for creating positive areas in Asian cooperation and in proving to be new engines for the world economy.

As I said to the press this morning, I have made India the first stop of my first overseas trip as the Premier of China. This is because India is an important neighbour for China. This is because India is one of the largest developing countries in the world with a population comparable to China’s. This is also because I have my own good sentiments towards the people of India. Twenty-seven years ago I spent more than a week in this country as the leader of China’s youth organization, and during that trip the seeds of friendship have been sown in my own heart.

In our history, our two civilizations have had uninterrupted and in-depth exchanges. Today facing the future we see enormous potential for the common development of both countries. We hope that the seeds we sow today in spring will be harvested in autumn and that there will be more bountiful fruits to show. And in that context we look forward to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to China later this year so that together we can harvest the outcomes of cooperation and of friendship between our two countries. Thank you.

And I want to thank all of the friends from the press for your hard work and I hope you will join us in saluting the fruits of cooperation between China and India.

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