On January 6, entrusted with the important mission to further advance China-India relations, I came to India, a country that always impresses me with her splendid history, inclusive culture and rapid development. While learning more about India, I am also trying to “knock at every alien door” and “wander through all the outer worlds”, as Rabindranath Tagore put it in Gitanjali. The responsibility set me thinking hard on how to bring the 2.5 billion people closer and add a new chapter to the grand oriental civilisation.
Our geographical location binds us — so let us be good neighbours, good friends and good partners and let us understand and respect each other. The two nations must pass on the friendship from generation to generation; we cannot afford to do anything else. Today, under the able leadership of President Hu Jintao and President Pranab Mukherjee, relations between the two countries are about to move into a golden age.
The future of our bilateral ties is promising. That we are standing here today is in a large measure due to an effective way that we’ve found to get along with each other. The two sides take a holistic view of bilateral relations and strive for inclusiveness, mutual benefits and common development. We believe that there is ample space and scope for development and cooperation between the two.
We must view each other as partners, not rivals. We must realise that we have much more convergence of interests than divergence. We have ample reasons to handle sensitive issues constructively and move towards solutions while maintaining the sound momentum of bilateral ties. As long as we work towards the same end, we will overcome difficulties.
The world is undergoing profound changes with an ever-increasing trend of multi-polarisation, economic globalisation and the rise of emerging countries. Looking ahead, the people of China are realising the “Chinese Dream” of modernisation and rejuvenation of the country. Indians, too, have their own dream of inclusive development and modernisation. In that sense, China and India are shouldering similar historic aims and aspiring for development. The two governments and their people should lend support to and learn from each other. Deng Xiaoping, the Chinese leader and reformer, once observed that no genuine Asian century would come without the development of China and India. China’s new leaders attach great significance to the bilateral relations. Xi Jinping, the General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party Central Committee, recently wrote to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and expressed his readiness to cooperate with India to create a brighter future for both countries.
Mahatma Gandhi once observed that “I long for the day when a free India and a free China will cooperate together in friendship and brotherhood for their own good and for the good of Asia and the world.”
When I presented my credentials to the President of India, I told him that I will do my best to advance China-India relations. I hope, when I conclude my tenure, to see a few things in China-India ties: enhanced stability, deep friendship and better development, as put forth by the Mahatma.
Wei Wei is Ambassador of China to India
The views expressed by the author are personal