On April 1, 2020, China and India usher in the important moment of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Looking around the world, China and India, as the only two emerging countries with a population of more than 1 billion, shoulder the historical mission of national rejuvenation, play a key role in the process of the collective rise of developing countries, and inject strong momentum into the profound changes unseen in a century. At this moment, it is particularly important to revisit the original aspiration of establishing diplomatic relations 70 years ago and carry forward the spirit of good neighborliness and friendship, unity and cooperation.
Looking back at the past 70 years, China-India relations have moved ahead despite wind and rain and gone through an extraordinary development path. In the 1950s, the leaders of the older generation of the two countries made the historical decision to establish diplomatic relations between China and India, and jointly advocated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. “Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai” (Indians and Chinese are brothers) resounded throughout our two countries. From the 1980s, the two sides agreed to solve the boundary question through peaceful and friendly consultation, established strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity, and achieved all-round development of bilateral relations. After 2013, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi initiated the “hometown diplomacy”, held two informal summits in Wuhan and Chennai respectively, carried out strategic communication on overarching, long-term and strategic issues of global and regional importance, and agreed to strengthen the closer partnership for development between the two countries.
Today’s achievements of China-India relations embodied the great efforts of several generations of our two peoples. We can draw some inspirations and experiences from the past. First, adhere to the strategic guidance of the leaders. Second, grasp the general trend of friendly cooperation. Third, expand the momentum of mutually beneficial cooperation. Fourth, enhance the coordination on international and regional affairs. Fifth, properly manage differences.
At present, China-India relations stand at a new starting point and usher in new opportunities. We should draw wisdom from our thousands of years of civilizations and explore a way for neighboring and emerging major countries to get along with each other in accordance with “enhancing mutual trust, focusing on cooperation, managing differences and seeking common development”. We also need to master the four keys of “leading, transmitting, shaping and integrating”. “Leading” means to reach consensus and guide the direction of the development of bilateral relations under the guidance of our two leaders. “Transmitting” means to transmit the leaders’ consensus to all levels and translate it into tangible cooperation and outcomes. “Shaping” means to go beyond the mode of managing differences, shape bilateral relations actively and accumulate positive momentum. “Integrating” means to strengthen exchanges and cooperation, promote convergence of interests and achieve common development.
Indian President Ram Nath Kovind and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have both said that the whole world is a family, which strike a chord with Chinese philosophy concept of “universal peace” and “universal love”. The ancient oriental wisdom is still full of vitality today. I believe that China and India have enough foresight and ability to join hands to realize “Dragon-Elephant Tango”, create brilliant future in the next 70 years and write together a new chapter in building a community with a shared future for mankind!
Memorabilia of 70th Anniversary of the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between China and India
On April 1, 1950, China and India established diplomatic relations. India was the first non-socialist country to establish relations with the People’s Republic of China. ” Hindi Chini Bhai Bhai ” has become a catchphrase from that time and a much-told story in the history of bilateral exchanges.
In 1954, Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai visited India. China and India signed the Joint Statement and jointly advocated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence . In the same year, Indian Prime Minister Nehru visited China. He was the first head of government of a non-socialist country who visited China since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.
In 1955, Premier Zhou Enlai and Prime Minister Nehru attended the Asian-African Conference in which 29 countries participated in Bandung, Indonesia and jointly advocated the Bandung Spirit of solidarity, friendship and cooperation.
In 1962, the border conflict led to a serious setback in bilateral relations.
In 1976, China and India restored ambassadorial relations and bilateral ties improved gradually.
In 1988, Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi visited China, initiating the process of normalization of bilateral relations. The two sides agreed to “look forward” and develop bilateral relations actively in other fields while seeking a mutually acceptable solution to boundary question.
In 1991, Premier Li Peng visited India. The Prime Minister level mutual visits were restored after decades of suspension.
In 1992, Indian President R. Venkataraman visited China. He was the first President who visited China since the independence of the Republic of India.
In 1993, Indian Prime Minister Narasimha Rao visited China. Agreement between the Government of China and the Government of India on the Maintenance of Peace and Tranquility along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas was signed.
In 1996, President Jiang Zemin visited India. He was the first head of state from China who visited India since the establishment of bilateral ties. Both sides agreed to build a constructive partnership of cooperation oriented towards the 21st century. Agreement between the Government of China and the Government of India on Confidence Building Measures in the Military Field along the Line of Actual Control in the India-China Border Areas was signed.
In 2000, Indian President K R Narayanan visited China on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and India.
In 2002, Premier Zhu Rongji visited India. Both sides agreed to enhance mutual understanding and trust and promote exchanges and cooperation in various fields.
In 2003, Indian Prime Minister Vajpayee visited China. The two sides signed The Declaration on the Principles and Comprehensive Cooperation in China-India Relations, and agreed to establish the special representatives meeting mechanism on India-China boundary question.
In 2005, Premier Wen Jiabao visited India. China and India signed the Joint Statement and declared the establishment of the strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity. The two sides welcomed signing of the Agreement on the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of the India-China Boundary Question.
In 2006, President Hu Jintao visited India. The two sides signed a Joint Declaration to formulate the ten-pronged strategy for deepening the strategic and cooperative partnership.
In 2008, Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh visited China. “A Shared Vision for the 21st Century” was agreed upon by the two governments.
In 2010, Indian President Patil visited China in May, which coincided with the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and India. In December, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited India and the two sides issued a Joint Communiqué.
2011 was the “China-India Exchange Year”. Both sides held a series of people-to-people and cultural exchange activities, and signed a memorandum on joint compilation for the “Encyclopedia of India-China Cultural Contacts”. A 500-member Indian youth delegation visited China.
2012 was the “Year of China-India Friendship and Cooperation”. President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao met with Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh respectively on the sidelines of the 4th BRICS Summit and the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development. A 500-member Chinese youth delegation visited India.
In 2013, President Xi Jinping met with Indian Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the 5th BRICS Summit in Durban, South Africa in March. Premier Li Keqiang visited India in May and the two sides released a Joint Statement. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh visited China in October.
2014 is the “China-India Friendly Exchange Year”. In September, President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to India and visited Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state of Gujarat. The two sides issued Joint Statement on Building a Closer Developmental Partnership. In the same year, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang met with Prime Minister Modi respectively on the sidelines of the 6th BRICS Summit and the Leaders’ Meetings on East Asia Cooperation in Myanmar.
In 2015, Indian Prime Minister Modi visited China and went to President Xi Jinping’s hometown Xi’an. In the same year, President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang met with Prime Minister Modi respectively on the sidelines of the 7th BRICS Summit in Ufa and the Leaders’ Meetings on East Asia Cooperation in Malaysia. China decided to open the Nathu La Pass to Indian official pilgrims to Xizang. India celebrated the India Tourism Year in China.
In 2016, Indian President Mukherjee visited China. Prime Minister Modi visited China to attend the G20 Summit in Hangzhou and met with President Xi Jinping on the sidelines. President Xi Jinping visited India to participate in the 8th BRICS Summit in Goa and met with Prime Minister Modi on the sidelines. China celebrated China Tourism Year in India.
In 2017, President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Modi on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Astana. Prime Minister Modi visited China to attend the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen and met with President Xi Jinping on the sidelines.
In 2018, President Xi Jinping held an informal meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Wuhan. They had in-depth discussions and reached broad consensus on the overarching, long-term and strategic issues of global and bilateral importance and their respective visions for national development as well as domestic and foreign policies. The informal meeting set up a new model of exchanges between two leaders and became a milestone in the history of bilateral relations. In the same year, Prime Minister Modi visited China to attend the SCO Summit in Qingdao and met with President Xi Jinping on the sidelines. The two leaders met again on the sidelines of the 10th BRICS Summit and the G20 Summit in Buenos Aires later in the year.
In 2019, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi held the second informal meeting in Chennai, reaffirmed the Wuhan consensus and agreed to build a closer partnership for development, enhance the in-depth strategic communication, promote mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields, and advance exchanges and mutual learning between the two civilizations. In the same year, President Xi Jinping met with Prime Minister Modi on the sidelines of the SCO Summit in Bishkek and the 11th BRICS Summit.
2020 marks the year of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and India. It is also China-India Year of Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges. The two sides agreed to hold 70 celebratory activities to demonstrate the historic connection between the two civilizations as well as their growing bilateral relationship over the years, and further deepen people-to-people exchanges between the two countries at all levels, including between their respective legislatures, businesses, academics, cultural and youth organizations as well as the defense forces.
Facts and Figures on China-India Cooperation
Political and Diplomatic Relations
2— —Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held 2 informal summits, and exchanged in-depth views on overarching, long-term and strategic issues of global and regional importance.
8— —Since 2014, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has sent 4 senior delegations to visit China, and sent representatives 4 times to China to attend the international conferences held by the Communist Party of China (CPC).
9— —The CPC has maintained friendly exchanges with 9 major Indian political parties including the BJP, Congress and left-wing parties for a long time. Exchanges and cooperation have been carried out through high-level visits, study tours, training courses and seminars. These have played an important role in promoting mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples and promoting healthy and stable development of bilateral relations.
16— —The two countries have held frequent exchanges of high-level visits. President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi have had 16 bilateral meetings since 2014, enhancing political mutual trust, properly managing differences, expanding practical cooperation so as to guide a better and more stable development of bilateral ties.
20— —Inter-parliamentary friendship groups are set up by China and India. Regular contacts and exchanges are maintained between the leadership and specialized committees of the two Parliaments. More than 20 parliamentarians from both countries have exchanged visits during recent years.
22— —Since the establishment of the Special Representatives’ meeting on the boundary question in 2003, the two sides have held 22 rounds of meetings, which have played an important role in promoting the settlement of the boundary question and maintaining peace and tranquility in the border areas.
26 — — In 2003, the International Department of Central Committee of CPC and the Ministry of External Affairs of India established an exchange mechanism. So far, a total of 10 Chief Ministers from India, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi who used to be Chief Minister of Gujarat, have visited China, and 16 CPC party leaders from the central and local committees of China have visited India. The exchange mechanism has become an important channel to enhance political mutual trust, expand province-state exchanges and practical cooperation in various fields.
50— —There are 50 dialogue mechanisms between China and India for exchanging views on various topics of bilateral, regional and global concern.
Economy and Trade
4— —The Development Research Center of the State Council of China has held 4 rounds of dialogues with the NITI Aayog of India, reaching consensus on promoting sustainable and high-quality economic development of two countries, safeguarding global multilateral trade mechanisms, promoting the reform of the global governance system and guarding against international economic and financial risks.
4— —Occupying 4 of the top 5 smartphone shipments in India, Chinese brand smartphones are popular with Indian people.
6— —China and India have held 6 rounds of strategic economic dialogues to exchange macroeconomic policies on infrastructure, high technology, energy conservation and environmental protection, energy and medicine and promote practical economic and trade cooperation.
9— —China and India have held 9 rounds of financial dialogues and reached consensus on macroeconomic situation and policies, cooperation under multilateral frameworks as well as bilateral investment and financial cooperation.
11— —China and India have held 11 sessions of China-India Joint Group of Economy and Trade to engage in extensive exchanges on bilateral trade in goods and services, investment and industrial park cooperation, trade statistics and trade remedies, and constantly deepen bilateral practical cooperation on economy and trade. At the same time, the two countries have closely cooperated with and supported each other on multilateral trading system and regional economic cooperation, making important contributions to establishing new international economic order and safeguarding the interests of developing countries.
32— —Since the beginning of the 21st century, trade between China and India has grown from less than $3 billion to nearly $100 billion, an increase of about 32 times. In 2019, the trade volume between China and India was $92.68 billion.
200000 — — More than 1,000 Chinese companies have increased their investment in industrial parks, e-commerce and other areas in India, with 200,000 local jobs created.
1 billion— —Indian companies are also actively expanding the Chinese market, with a cumulative investment of nearly 1 billion US dollars in China. According to Indian statistics, more than two-thirds of Indian companies investing in China are making steady profits.
2.7 billion— —With a combined market of over 2.7 billion people and a GDP of 20% of the world’s total, China and India enjoy huge potential and broad prospects for economic and trade cooperation.
8 billion— —Chinese companies’ cumulative investment in India is more than 8 billion US dollars.
Science and Technology
2— —China and India have held 2 rounds of China-India Joint Research workshops on Science and Technology Innovation.
3— —China and India have hosted 3 rounds of conferences of China-India Technology Transfer, Collaborative Innovation & Investment.
3— —Indian companies have set up 3 IT corridors in China, which help promote China-India cooperation in information technology and high technology.
6— —China and India have held 6 rounds of meetings of the China-India Joint Committee on Scientific and Technological Cooperation to strengthen policy coordination and information sharing, and promote cooperation on scientists exchanges and joint research projects.
8— —China and India have held 8 rounds of “Hand-in-Hand” joint anti-terrorist exercises to enhance mutual understanding and trust, exchange training experiences and jointly improve anti-terrorism capabilities.
9— —China and India have held 9 rounds of China-India defense and security consultation to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the defense field.
2— — China and India have held 2 rounds of meetings of China-India High-Level People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges Mechanism. The two sides have made new progress on exchanges and cooperation in the fields of art, publishing, media, film and television, museum, sports, youth, tourism, locality, traditional medicine, yoga, education and think tanks.
5— —2 Confucius Institutes and 3 Chinese language centers have been established in India. Around 20 universities in India offer Chinese courses, among which 8 provide a major in Chinese studies. The contest of the “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign Secondary School Students (Indian) has been held for 12 sessions. The contest of the “Chinese Bridge” Chinese Proficiency Competition for Foreign University Students (Indian) has been held for 18 sessions. Chinese language learning is becoming a popular trend in India.
8— —The two sides have held 4 sessions of China-India High Level Media Forum and 4 sessions of China-India Think Tank Forum to strengthen exchanges and cooperation in the field of media and think tanks.
14— —The two countries have established 14 pairs of sister cities and provinces, and will establish sister provinces and cities between Fujian Province and Tamil Nadu State, Quanzhou City and Chennai City.
14— —Since 2006, the hundred-member Chinese and Indian youth delegations have exchanged 14 visits, and more than 4000 Chinese and Indian youth have visited each other’s country.
134— —There are 134 flights linking major cities of the two countries every week, among which China has 94 flights to India and India has 40 flights to China(excluding the flights between the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China and Indian cities).
200 — — China has established 1 Luban Workshop and 1 Luban-Mo-tse Culture Institute in India, which have trained more than 200 technical Indian students.
2000— —Over 2,000 young Chinese are studying in India, and more than 20,000 Indian youth are studying in China. Cooperation in the field of education between the two countries has been continuously strengthened.
20000 — — The number of Indian pilgrims to Xizang Autonomous Region of China has surged from several hundreds in the 1980s to more than 20,000 in 2019. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China and Ministry of External Affairs of India have made great efforts in coordination and established the Contact Mechanism for Indian Pilgrims. The government of Xizang Autonomous Region of China has undertaken heavy logistics work to help facilitate the pilgrimage, which has become an important bond between the Chinese and Indian people to enhance mutual understanding and friendship.
1 million— —Two-way personnel exchanges between China and India have exceeded 1 million, among which more than 800,000 Indians visit China (excluding an average of 700,000 Indians visiting the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China each year) and more than 200,000 Chinese visit India.
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