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Translation of EAM’s Address at inauguration of 3rd India-China High Level Media Forum (December 21, 2018)

December 22, 2018

Your Excellency, Mr. Wang Yi, State Counselor and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China who is also my close friend and my brother,
Delegation members from both the countries present during our discussions,
Friends of media from India and China who have come to India for the India-China Media Forum,
My beloved brothers and sisters present in this auditorium,


First of all I would like to tell you about the uniqueness and the background of this meeting.

In the last four and a half years, Mr. Wang Yi and I had a lot of dialogues and discussions. These discussions were held not only in India, China but in third countries also.

Several times we have met in multilateral meetings also like RIC, BRICS, and SCO etc. We have had many discussions on the sidelines of these meetings also but I would like to say, and Foreign Minister Mr. Wang Yi is witness to the fact that our meeting of today was entirely different from the earlier meetings and the reason for that is that this meeting was focused on only two subjects.

One of the subjects was our cultural relations with China and the second subject was our people-to-people relations.

The meetings that we had prior to today were all very long meetings but this was a very small point, a very small subject in all the previous meetings.

Now Foreign Minister Wang Yi and I can say that we used to spend maximum ten minutes on this agenda item but today’s meeting was went on for two hours and in those two hours we discussed two subjects only.

Our cultural relations with China and people to people relations between India and China.

And the background that I spoke about, as to background first of all I would like to express my gratitude to our two great leaders i.e. Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping of China both of whom laid foundation for this meeting. This is the result of their maturity and vision that they could think leaving all the cooperation aside, if the people to people ties increase then our relations will become much stronger.

So during the Wuhan informal summit it was decided that a new system, a new mechanism should be created dedicated only to the cultural exchange and people to people exchange between the two countries.

They did not leave that mechanism to the officials, they entrusted this to their foreign ministers and named it, High Level Meeting.

So now you can understand that both leaders understood that till the time our people to people relations are not enhanced we could not further intensify our cooperation and that is the reason they decided to have this meeting.

And I am happy to say that Wuhan informal summit was held in April and seven months after that, we are doing this meeting in December.

We did the preparations during this time and were able to find mutually acceptable time for the meeting. And I am especially grateful to Foreign Minister Mr. Wang Yi that he readily accepted my wish to conduct the meeting in December and said he is ready to come in the month of December and we have been successful in sharing the vision of both the leaders today. He came and as I said for two hours we discussed only these two subjects.

We have selected 10 such dimensions on which our cultural relations and people to people exchange relations will stand on them. I would like to discuss those 10 dimensions here with you.

First is Cultural exchange,
Second, Cooperation in Film and Television,
Then, Cooperation in museum management,
Cooperation in sports,
Cooperation in exchange of youth,
Cooperation in tourism,
Cooperation in exchange of people at the level of states and cities,
Cooperation in traditional medicine,
Cooperation in Yoga, and the tenth is Cooperation in the field of education And our discussion was across all these ten dimensions of our relations.

Friends,

Both sides reviewed positively our cooperation in these areas and made constructive and meaningful suggestions to further enhance our cooperation in order to promote greater cultural and people to people exchanges.

I am very satisfied with the quality of our discussions today. I am also very encouraged by the keen interest shown by both sides in coming up with new and concrete ideas. Our high level mechanism has certainly had a very good beginning. I am confident that this high level mechanism will help our two sides in building greater synergies in our people to people ties.

Our two sides are also organizing several side events around the high level mechanism to showcase the depth and breadth of our cultural and people to people exchanges. This high level media forum is an important part of the high level mechanism.

So is the Thank Tank Forum the third round of which was hosted by the ICWA yesterday and today. A Chinese delegation of academia and scholars is taking part in this forum. Apart from this, later this evening, the ICCR will also host an India-China cultural evening to mark the launch of the High Level Mechanism. Several other events including an India China Film Festival are also being organized.

Friends,

India-China High Level Media Forum is one of the most important events of our High Level Mechanism and underscores the important role played by media of our two countries in building mutual understanding.

Our two countries are increasing the scope of our bilateral, regional and international discussions. In this context the role of our media becomes critical in facilitating a sound understanding of each other’s interests and viewpoints. I am confident that our media will fully utilize the platform provided by this forum and have constructive talks with a view to contributing a stronger India-China media relationship which in turn will make a positive contribution to our closer development partnership.

Friends,

Our two great countries represent almost one third of the humanity and are among the fastest growing economies in the world. Moreover we are neighboring countries that makes this relationship even more special. This special partnership is important not just at the regional level but globally as well.

The informal summit between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping in Wuhan in April this year was a milestone in our bilateral relationship. Since Wuhan Prime Minister Modi and President Xi have met three times this year.

They have not only established a personal connection but also laid out strategic guidance to further advance our closer development partnership. At the Wuhan summit Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping reached a consensus that both countries are partners for progress and development.

Thanks to the economic reforms carried out in China over the last 40 years it has grown rapidly and has become the second largest economy in the world. India too has had a robust growth and is well on the path to becoming a $5 trillion economy by 2025.

Though we have differences in our governance system our goals are similar. And our goal is to raise standard of living of our people, eliminate poverty, provide health care of all, impart skills to our youth, upgrade our industrial capacities and acquire technologies that can elevate us to the ranks of the leading economies of the world.

In this context we can benefit by understanding each other and also by sharing our own development related experiences. Following the Wuhan Summit the relationship has witnessed all round development. Showcasing the "Wuhan Spirit” this year we witnessed significant high level bilateral engagements including visit of the Minister of Defence and Public Security of China and Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s own visit to India.

Our bilateral economic relations have also progressed well. While our bilateral trade figures continue to rise we are also finding a solution to the continuously increasing trade deficit. In this regard we would like to express our gratefulness to the concrete steps taken by the Chinese side in the last few months.

We are confident we will receive continuous support from the Chinese side so that we can increase our bilateral trade in sustainable and balanced way and also in facilitating market access for Indian goods and services in China.

The armies of our two countries are also making efforts to strengthen contacts and implement various "Confidence Building Measures.” This will help to promote peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas which is an important prerequisite for smooth development of our bilateral relations.

India and China today are also working together with each other on regional and international subjects. We are partners in many multilateral groupings such as the G20, BRICS, RIC, SCO etc.

At a time of global uncertainty the relations between India and China are a factor of stability. This is important guidance given to us our leaders.

Friends,

We conclude this year with the satisfaction of having made good progress in our bilateral relations. We are preparing an ambitious agenda for next year as well.

We are confident that the visit of the President Xi Jinping to India next year for the second informal summit will add another facet to our continuously expanding closer developmental partnership. With the respect to cultural and people to people exchanges the high level mechanisms have strengthened our relations in a big way. I hope as an important component of that effort the India-China High Level Media Forum will have productive discussions today and come up with new ideas to further the friendship between our media and the people of our two countries.

With these words I wish the media forum all success. I hope you all have productive and positive discussions. My very best wishes to you.

Thank you.

New Delhi
December 21, 2018

(Disclaimer: EAM’s Address was delivered in Hindi. This is an approximate translation of the Address)

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