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If China and India speak in one voice, the world will listen: Sun Weidong

India and China advocate world multi-polarity, economic globalisation, trade liberalisation, and oppose unilateralism and protectionism

Sun Weidong 

India China relations, trade war

President Xi Jinping once pointed out that the development of China and India is the trend of the times and an important opportunity to each other. As I see it, China and India are neighbours, partners and friends. Amicable exchanges have always been the mainstream of the bilateral relations. President Xi Jinping and initiated the “hometown diplomacy” and later held a historic informal summit in Wuhan, China. The Closer Developmental Partnership between China and India is moving forward along the track of sound and steady development.

Today, over 1,000 Chinese companies are doing business in India, with a cumulative investment of $8 billion, which has created 200,000 local jobs. More than two-thirds of Indian companies investing in China are making handsome profits, 40 per cent of them would like to increase their investment in China this year. The China-India High-Level People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges Mechanism has promoted people-to-people cooperation a new high. The box office of Indian films is twice as much in China as in India. The Indian pavilion at the Beijing International Horticultural Expo has attracted millions of Chinese visitors. With the long history, large population and economic volume of the two countries, China-India cooperation enjoys vast potential for development.

If China and India speak in one voice, the whole world will listen. We both advocate world multi-polarity, economic globalisation, trade liberalisation, and oppose unilateralism and protectionism. We can closely coordinate under the framework of BRICS, G20 and SCO, to jointly tackle global challenges and to promote a fair and just global governance order. China and India both uphold the concepts of “Great Harmony” and “The World as One Family”. The ancient oriental wisdom is still showing vitality today. I believe China and India have all the vision and ability to find the path of joint development and win-win cooperation between major emerging countries. This will contribute to the development of a community with a shared future for mankind...

Peace is the precondition for development, and also the eternal aspiration of mankind. Without peace, it is difficult to achieve economic growth, improvement of people’s livelihoods, and social stability. To maintain regional and global peace and stability is not only the responsibility of China and India as major countries, but also the need of the two countries to materialise their own development. For neighbours and major countries, differences are hard to avoid. The key is to properly handle them. We should look at issues with rationality, put them in the bigger picture, reduce differences through consultation, settle disputes through dialogue, promote peace through development, and enhance mutual trust through cooperation...

The Chinese government attaches great importance to its relations with India, which is a basic foreign policy we have adhered to for a long time. Personally, I think in the future, the two sides should promote the development of China-India relations from four dimensions, namely, “leading, transmitting, shaping and integrating”. “Leading” means to make the second informal summit a success by highlighting the guidance of the two leaders. “Transmitting” refers to the transmission of the leaders’ consensus to all levels and translate the consensus into tangible cooperation and outcomes. “Shaping” means going beyond the mode of managing differences, shaping bilateral relations and accumulating positive momentum. “Integrating” means to strengthen exchanges and cooperation, promote convergence of interests and achieve common development.

Ladies and gentlemen, this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China. Over the past seven decades, China has successfully embarked on a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and made great strides from standing up and growing wealthy to becoming stronger. China’s economy is enjoying high-quality development, growing by 6.3 per cent year-on-year in the first half of this year.

The economic structure continued to improve, and the third industry contributed 60.3 per cent of the growth. In 2018, the retail sales of consumer goods in China totalled $5.76 trillion, making it the second largest consumer market in the world. A few days ago, Costco, a well-known American supermarket chain, opened a new outlet in Shanghai. It was overwhelmed by Chinese shoppers and had to shut down temporarily on its opening day. This highlighted the huge vitality of the Chinese consumer market. China is also opening wider to the outside world...

What China has achieved is not a godsend. It comes from our people’s hard work by overcoming all obstacles and difficulties. A certain country provoked trade frictions with China, openly interfered in China’s internal affairs and undermined our interests. We resolutely oppose and will firmly defend our legitimate interests. We are willing to properly handle differences on the basis of mutual respect and resolve issues through dialogue and negotiation. However, any consultation and negotiation must be based on equality and mutual respect. The result should be mutually beneficial.

Some Indian friends may follow the situation in China’s Hong Kong. Recently, some radical protesters have committed violent crimes under the pretext of anti-extradition Bill, gravely trampling on the rule of law and social order in Hong Kong, and challenging the bottom line of the “one country, two systems” principle. Some external forces meddled in China’s internal affairs, deliberately calling violent crimes as peaceful protest. This is an outright “double standard”. Violence is not tolerated in any civilised society. Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs. This is a fact recognised internationally. All governments in the world recognise China's sovereignty over Hong Kong. There is no sovereign issue over Hong Kong at all. We would never allow any external forces to interfere in Hong Kong affairs...

Edited excerpts from Work for new progress of China-India relationship: Focus on mutual cooperation and common development, an address by China's Ambassador to India Sun Weidong on September 3

First Published: Sat, September 07 2019. 19:56 IST