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EAM's interview with Xinhua News Agency on 13 August 2019

August 13, 2019

As the two largest developing countries and emerging economies, cooperation between India and China is of great importance to the world, India's Minister of External Affairs Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said in Beijing in an exclusive interview with Xinhua.

Describing the world as "more multi-polar" with changing global order, he said that India and China need to enhance communication and coordination to contribute to world peace, stability and development.China and India are the world's only two emerging economies that boast a population of more than 1 billion, respectively. "Our relationship is so big that it is no longer a bilateral relationship. It has global dimensions," Jaishankar said.

He called on the two countries to find stronger areas of convergence, respect each other's core concerns, find ways of managing differences, and keep a strategic view of the direction of bilateral ties.

Jaishankar is on a visit to China from Aug. 11 to 13. This is his first visit to China as India's external affairs minister since he assumed office at the end of May this year. He served as Indian ambassador to China from 2009 to 2013 -- India's longest-serving envoy in Beijing.

He said that he is glad to come to China at the beginning of his new role as India's external affairs minister. "I feel in this responsibility I can contribute once again to building India-China relations. For me, that's a huge part of my overall foreign policy responsibility."

Next year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and India. Jaishankar described bilateral ties as "positive."

"When we look back (at the past 69 years), there are many lessons that both of us can take from it. The primary lesson is that it is important for India and China to cooperate closely if we are to realize the Asian century," he said.

During Jaishankar's visit to China, he co-chaired the second meeting of the China-India high-level people-to-people exchanges mechanism with Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, agreeing to further promote friendship between the two peoples.

Both China and India have a long history that goes back thousands of years, and the two countries' civilizations are among the oldest of human civilizations, representing two pillars of the civilization of the East.

"A lot of people, including young people of both countries, really don't have a good understanding of how much our two cultures of civilizations have affected each other," he said, adding that "promoting a greater awareness of that history" through more cultural exchanges is an important task for the two countries.

The two countries agreed to establish a high-level people-to-people exchanges mechanism in April last year and the first meeting of the mechanism was held in New Delhi in December.

Jaishankar regarded the role of the mechanism as "taking the bilateral relationship from the narrow diplomatic field to a larger societal interaction," saying that the more that people see each other first hand, the more their sense of relating to each other will grow.

Senior Indian officials from sports, tourism, and culture sectors are traveling with Jaishankar to China this time. "It's important for our relationship to build popular support. Our people must feel good about each other," he said.


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