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Media Statements by Prime Minister of India and Chinese Premier in New Delhi

May 20, 2013

Official Spokesperson (Shri Syed Akbaruddin): Honourable dignitaries, ladies and gentlemen, and friends from the media, we will have the next event which is the media statements. I would request the Prime Minister of India to make his media statement.

Prime Minister of India (Dr. Manmohan Singh): Your Excellency Premier Li and ladies and gentlemen of the media: It is an honour for me to welcome Premier Li on his first official visit to India. It has been an immense pleasure to get to know him personally. I sincerely appreciate his reaching out to me on his first day in office and his choosing India as his first foreign destination as Premier.

Starting yesterday evening, Premier Li and I have had wide-ranging and candid discussions covering all matters of mutual interest and concern. I am delighted that there are so many areas of convergence between us and on which there is a great deal of meeting of minds. Most importantly, we agreed that the relationship between our two countries is of growing significance and essential for our peaceful development and sustained economic growth, as well as for stability and prosperity in our region and the world.

India and China are two civilizational neighbours and have lived in peace through the ages. We have had our differences in more recent times, but over the last 25 years we have steadily built a mutually beneficial relationship. The basis for continued growth and expansion of our ties is peace and tranquility on our borders. While seeking an early resolution of the boundary question, Premier Li and I have agreed that this must continue to be preserved.

We also took stock of lessons learnt from the recent incident in the Western Sector, when existing mechanisms proved their worth. We tasked our Special Representatives to consider further measures that may be needed to maintain peace and tranquility along the border. We agreed that our Special Representatives will meet soon to continue discussions, seeking early agreement on a framework for a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable boundary settlement.

I also reiterated to Premier Li India’s concerns about the effects on lower riparians of activities in the upper reaches of our shared rivers. It would be useful for the mandate of our Expert Level Mechanism to be expanded to include information sharing on upstream development projects on these rivers. I am glad that we have agreed to expand cooperation on trans-border rivers. It would also be useful for India and China to collaborate on a better understanding of the stresses on our shared Himalayan ecosystem.

I shared with Premier Li my view that the rise of China and India is good for the world and that the world has enough space to accommodate the growth aspirations of both our peoples. To make this a reality, it is important to build understanding between our two peoples. We agreed that both sides must work to strengthen greater trust and confidence, which in turn will permit much larger cooperation.

Economic cooperation constitutes a very important part of our relationship and the growth potential of our two economies can provide the engine for greater cooperation. There are many ongoing areas of cooperation that we will carry forward as outlined in the Joint Statement. I conveyed to Premier Li our concerns about the trade deficit and sought increased market access to China for our exports and investments. I also invited increased Chinese involvement in the vast opportunities in our infrastructure and manufacturing sectors.

The rapid development of our economies has opened up new opportunities for economic cooperation bilaterally in our region and globally, which our Strategic Economic Dialogue will identify and explore. We have also discussed the possibility of infrastructure development to link India’s Northeastern region with Bangladesh, Myanmar, China and other countries in the Southeast Asian region.

Premier Li and I also used the opportunity to review the rapidly evolving global political and economic situation and resolved to strengthen our strategic communication and dialogue on these issues. We also agreed that we have a shared interest in an open multilateral trading system and in combating protectionism.

Before I conclude, let me say once again what a pleasure it has been to welcome Premier Li amongst us. I am sure that his leadership will go a long way in strengthening the relationship between our two countries and extending it to new frontiers. I look forward to seeing him again very soon and I have also accepted his gracious invitation to visit China at the earliest opportunity.

I thank you.

Official Spokesperson: I now request the Premier of China to make his media remarks.

Premier of China (Mr. Li Keqiang): 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 tranquility 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 tranquility 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.

Official Spokesperson: With that we come to the end of this event.

A joint statement will be issued within the course of the hour. Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen.

(Concluded)



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