China, India, and closely connected dreams

“Rabindranath Tagore said, ‘China and India are very old and belovedbrothers’”. Picture shows Chinese artistes performing a traditional dance of China at Tagore’s ancestral home at Jorasanko in Kolkata . —Photo: Arunangasu Roy Chowdhury | Photo Credit: Arunangsu Roy Chowdhury
Li Yuanchao 06 November 2015 02:51 IST
Updated: 02 April 2016 21:57 IST

We advocate fostering a community of a shared future with neighbouring countries. In this context, we regard the China-India relationship as one of the most important bilateral relationships for us — Li Yuanchao, vice-president of china.

It is my pleasure to pay an official visit to India at the invitation of Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Vice President of the Republic of India and Chairman of the Rajya Sabha. I would like to take the opportunity to extend my sincere greetings and best wishes to the great people of India.

As an ancient civilisation, India has been world-renowned for its profound philosophy and splendid culture, which made great contributions to human development. As an emerging country, India’s widely acclaimed economic growth and social vitality have secured this country an influential position in the world. Past and present glories have come together to lend strength to India’s ambitious march towards national prosperity. On the other side of the Himalayas, the Chinese nation has also written its own chapter in the history of human civilisation and created thriving miracles. Throughout history, the Chinese and Indian civilisations have maintained exchanges and learned from each other. With the East’s unique wisdom and charm, the two nations have jointly erected powerful pillars for the civilisation of the East, and contributed their share to world peace and development.

Old civilisational ties China and India’s friendship dates back to ancient times. As the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore put it, “China and India are very old and beloved brothers.” Over the past 2,000 years and more, there have been >numerous tales and legends about the friendly exchanges between the two countries, such as the white horse carrying Buddhist scriptures from India to China, Monk Xuanzang’s pilgrimage to the West, and Chinese navigator Zheng He’s expedition. All these are testament to our friendship as good neighbours. The ancient Silk Road, bustling with merchants and coaches, brought such Chinese and Indian inventions as papermaking, sugar-making and numbers to the wider world. Chinese and Indians learned from each other and together drove Asia’s progress, setting a fine example of inter-civilisational exchanges.

Chinese Vice-President Li Yuanchao at the Taj.

Since modern times, China and India had gone through similar sufferings and supported each other. We realised national independence and liberation, pioneered the liberation movement of Asia, Africa and Latin America — changing the world map of the colonial era once and for all — and strengthened the unity of the Third World countries. In the 1950s, China and India, together with other Asian countries, jointly initiated the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence and turned them into basic norms governing international relations, thus making > historic contributions to building a new type of international relations based on equality.


A blessing to the world is the simultaneous development of China and India. In recent decades, China and India have seized the opportunities of economic globalisation and technological revolution and embarked on the fast track of development, driven by reform and innovation. Not only have we improved the livelihoods of 2.5 billion people, but we have also become twin engines propelling the economic development of the world. Since the turn of this century, China and India have established and developed strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity, and explored a way to achieve harmonious co-existence by actively expanding cooperation and effectively managing differences at the same time. China-India relations have become an anchor of regional peace and stability. In recent years, as the two largest developing countries and major emerging economies, the two countries have maintained close communication and coordination, taken an active part in global governance, firmly upheld the common interests of developing countries in major global issues, and made common appeals for building a more just and equitable international order.

A win-win cooperation between China and India has broad prospects. >President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang, and other Chinese leaders have met with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other Indian leaders on many occasions, during which they reached important consensus on forging an even closer partnership for development. This has charted the course for a growing bilateral relationship. President Xi pointed out that China and India need to become closer cooperation partners for development, growth, and global strategic coordination. Prime Minister Modi said that China and India are “two bodies, one spirit”. The Chinese people now are striving to achieve the two centenary goals, and the Chinese dream of great national renewal, while the Indian people are working hard to realise the objective of national revitalisation. Both the Chinese dream and Indian dream are closely connected and complement each other. As the second and ninth largest economies, respectively, China and India have a combined GDP of over U.S. $12 trillion and a huge market with one third of the world’s population. The Chinese economy has been steadily upgraded, while the Indian economy has entered a phase of fast growth. The two countries enjoy significant mutual complementarity and huge potential for cooperation.

China is committed to peace, development and win-win cooperation, and adheres to the policies of building friendly relations and partnerships. We advocate fostering a community of a shared future with neighbouring countries. In this context, we regard the China-India relationship as one of the most important bilateral relationships for us.

We are r >eady to work together with India in line with the consensus between our leaders to increase strategic mutual trust, deepen traditional friendship, and work for faster and greater development of China-India relations.

We are ready to synergise our development strategy with that of India, take forward our respective national development, and facilitate regional and world development and prosperity with our own development.

We are ready to renew our friendly exchanges with India to encourage affinity between the two civilisations and create a new boom in learning about each other’s culture. This will help revive our ancient inter-civilisational exchanges and mutual learning on a larger scale, and in more areas.

Going forward, China and India will continue to be the two major forces calling for a multi-polar world and the main engines driving world economic growth. China and India should carry forward oriental wisdom and traditional friendship for closer cooperation. I am convinced that with our joint efforts, both the countries will embrace an even brighter future, and contribute more Asian wisdom to peace and development of the region and the whole world.

(Li Yuanchao is the Vice-President of the People’s Republic of China)