A Journey of Friendship and Cooperation - Yang Jiechi Talks about Premier Wen Jiabao’s Official Visits to India and Pakistan
From Dec. 15 to 19, 2010, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council paid official visits to India and Pakistan at invitation. As Premier Wen's trip is coming to an end, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi introduced to the accompanying journalists Premier Wen's trip and its outcome.
Foreign Minister Yang said Premier Wen's trip to India and Pakistan is a major diplomatic move aimed at strengthening good-neighborly and friendly relations with surrounding countries. It has far-reaching strategic implications. India and Pakistan are important countries in South Asia and important neighbors of China. The development of China-India and China-Pakistan relations has significant impact on peace and prosperity in South Asia, Asia and the world. This year marks the 60th anniversary of China-India diplomatic ties and next year will be the 60th anniversary of China-Pakistan diplomatic relations. It is the common aspiration to inherit the past and usher in the future, consolidate friendship, enhance mutual trust, and expand cooperation. It is also one of the main goals Premier Wen expects to achieve during this trip. In less than 5 days, Premier Wen engaged in intensive and fruitful diplomatic activities, attended more than 30 major events, and delivered important speeches in India and Pakistan respectively. During the visits, China signed a number of cooperation documents respectively with India and Pakistan. Commercial contracts worth nearly $10 billion were signed respectively between China and India and between China and Pakistan. Premier Wen, in a sincere, friendly, frank attitude, had in-depth talks with leaders of India and Pakistan to seek for cooperation. He also had extensive contacts and cordial interactions with different communities. The Indian and Pakistan governments and people warmly welcomed him and accorded him a high standard of hospitality. Premier Wen’s trip has deepened China-Pakistan and China-India strategic cooperative partnerships, highlighted China's diplomatic guideline of being a good neighbor and partner, and displayed a cooperative and responsible image. His trip was featured by rich contents and prominent highlights. His trip was productive and successful.
I. Premier Wen's trip has deepened mutual political trust and expanded exchanges and cooperation between China and India in different areas
Yang said China and India, as important neighbors, are both ancient civilizations and major emerging developing countries. Since the establishment of diplomatic ties 60 years ago, bilateral relations have experienced ups and downs, but friendly cooperation always remains the mainstream. At present, China-India relations are showing a good momentum of comprehensive development. The two sides have established a strategic cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity. Exchanges and cooperation in various fields have been constantly expanded. The significance of the bilateral relations becomes more strategically prominent.
During the visit, Premier Wen held talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, and met with Indian President Pratibha Patil, leader of the Congress Party Sonia Gandhi and other Indian leaders and opposition party leaders. The two sides had frank and in-depth exchange of views on China-India relations and major regional and international issues. Premier Wen delivered an important speech at Indian Council of World Affairs, comprehensively expounding China's policies and positions on China-India relations. At the meetings with Indian leaders and in his speeches, Premier Wen reviewed the long history of friendly exchanges between China and India. He spoke highly of China-India relations and the healthy development of bilateral cooperation in various fields in recent years. He further clarified the future direction of bilateral relations. Premier Wen reiterated the world has enough space for the common development of China and India and enough areas for China-India cooperation. India and China have similar experiences, similar situations, and common challenges. China and India are both at a crucial stage of development. The two countries should, from a strategic and long-term perspective, enhance political and strategic mutual trust, expand pragmatic cooperation in various fields, strengthen coordination and collaboration on regional and international affairs and push China-India relations forward along the path of lasting friendship, mutually beneficial cooperation and common development. Premier Wen stressed China and India should be partners and friends forever, and should never be opponents. This should become the common faith of the two countries. Indian leaders agreed with Premier Wen’s views and propositions on bilateral relations and stressed India attaches great importance to developing relations with China, cherishes the friendship with the Chinese people, and is willing to make joint efforts with China to further deepen and enrich the connotations of China-India strategic cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity. The two sides issued a Joint Communiqué, which announced the establishment of regular exchange of visits between the two heads of state and between the two heads of government. The hotline between the two prime ministers was launched. The annual exchange of visits by foreign ministers was established. The two sides reiterated the position of seeking a fair, reasonable, mutually acceptable boundaries solution through negotiations and consultations and taking effective measures to maintain peace and tranquility in border areas. The two countries also signed a number of cooperation documents covering economy, culture, environmental protection, media, and other fields.
Another main objective of Premier Wen's trip is to promote pragmatic cooperation. At India-China Business Cooperation Summit, Premier Wen delivered a speech on China-India economic and trade cooperation. He stressed bilateral economic and trade cooperation is mutually beneficial and win-win for both sides. The future is bright. The two sides should tap the potentials for economic and trade cooperation and create a favorable environment for investment. The two sides should expand cooperation areas, strengthen exchanges and take bilateral economic and trade cooperation to bigger scales, wider areas and higher levels. The two sides decided to establish China-India strategic economic dialogue and the CEO Forum, strive to take bilateral trade volume to $100 billion by 2015, and further expand cooperation in investment, high-tech, energy and other fields.
Cultural and people-to-people exchanges are another highlight of Premier Wen's trip to India. Premier Wen and Prime Minister Singh attended the 60th anniversary celebration for the establishment of diplomatic relations, taking the celebration activities this year to a climax. The two sides announced next year as "China-India Exchange Year" and will invite 500 young people from each side to visit the other country and deepen exchanges and cooperation in such fields as media and education. Premier Wen also presented awards to the Indian friends who have contributed to the development of China-India relations. He encouraged them to continue to contribute to the development of bilateral relations. He had discussions with the cultural communities on promoting bilateral cultural exchanges. He visited Tagore International School in New Delhi and encouraged students to study the Chinese language and culture. Premier Wen said that the foundation of China-India friendship is the people. The future of China-India friendship lies in the youth. The two sides should continue to enhance the understanding and friendship between the people, especially between the youth and enrich the connotations of bilateral relations. Premier Wen's propositions were widely recognized in India. It has brought the feelings of the people of China and India closer, and displayed the affinity and charisma of Chinese leaders.
II. Premier Wen's trip has consolidated the traditional friendship and promoted pragmatic cooperation between China and Pakistan on all fronts
Yang said China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners. The bilateral ties have withstood the tests of time and the fluctuations of international situation. The bilateral ties enjoy a solid foundation and strong vitality. In recent years, China-Pakistan strategic cooperative partnership has witnessed new progress. Premier Wen made this trip to Pakistan just before the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. It was of great significance to further consolidating and deepening the traditional friendship and pragmatic cooperation between the two countries.
The Pakistani government and people welcomed Premier Wen with great warmth and enthusiasm. Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani went to the airport to greet Premier Wen and accompanied him for all main activities in Pakistan. During the trip to Pakistan, Premier Wen and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had both large- and small-scale talks. He also met with Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari, Speaker of the National Assembly, Chairman of the Senate, leaders of major political parties and military leaders. The two sides had an in-depth exchange of views on further consolidating and deepening the all-weather strategic cooperative partnership and major regional and international issues. The two sides reached broad consensus. Premier Wen delivered an important speech at the Pakistani parliament, comprehensively expounding China's policies on Pakistan. At the meetings with leaders of Pakistan and in his speeches, Premier Wen reviewed the brotherly relations between China and Pakistan since the establishment of diplomatic relations 59 years ago. He pointed out China-Pakistan friendship is deeply rooted in the hearts of the people, and as firm as a rock. Bilateral relations have withstood the tests of time and became even stronger. China-Pakistan relations set up a model for good neighborliness and friendship. Premier Wen spoke highly of the efforts made by the Pakistani government and people to overcome challenges and rebuild their homeland. He reiterated China’s support to the efforts of Pakistan to safeguard national sovereignty and social stability and achieve economic independence and sustainable development. He stressed to develop and consolidate all-weather strategic cooperative partnership between China and Pakistan conforms to the common interests of both countries and the people, and is conducive to regional and global peace, stability and development. The two sides should take next year's 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties as an opportunity to carry forward traditional friendship, promote pragmatic cooperation, jointly cope with challenges, and continuously enrich the connotations of China-Pakistan strategic cooperative partnership. Pakistan fully agreed with Premier Wen's views and propositions on China-Pakistan relations. Pakistan said China is the best, most trusted friend of Pakistan. The friendship with China is the cornerstone of Pakistan's foreign policy and the consensus of the whole nation. Pakistan is willing to make joint efforts with China to carry on the traditional friendship from generations to generations. The two sides signed the China-Pakistan Joint Statement and announced the establishment of the leaders’ annual meeting mechanism and the foreign ministers’ dialogue mechanism. The two governments signed over 10 cooperation documents covering economy, technology, energy, finance, culture and other fields.
Pakistan suffered serious floods this July and is currently in a crucial stage of reconstruction. During the visit to Pakistan, Premier Wen listened to the introduction to the disaster by the National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA) of Pakistan. Premier Wen also announced a package of plans for China's involvement in Pakistan’s reconstruction efforts and China’s new assistance initiatives. Premier Wen stressed China will take post-disaster reconstruction as the most urgent task for bilateral pragmatic cooperation. China will earnestly fulfill aid commitments, actively help the Pakistani people rebuild their homes, and ensure that aid projects really benefit the victims. Concerning bilateral economic and trade cooperation, Premier Wen stressed the need to expand the scale of bilateral trade, deepen cooperation in infrastructure construction, strengthen the exchanges between enterprises, and enhance bilateral economic and trade cooperation. The two sides agreed to identify cooperation in infrastructure, energy, and agriculture as key areas of cooperation, establish energy cooperation mechanism, launch the second phase of the FTA market access negotiations early next year, and expand financial cooperation.
Cultural and people-to-people exchanges are an important link of China-Pakistan friendship. During the visit, Premier Wen and Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani announced next year as “China-Pakistan Friendship Year”. The two sides will hold a series of commemorative activities to celebrate and promote the people-to-people exchanges in all areas and at all levels and enhance mutual understanding and friendly feelings between the people. The two prime ministers jointly inaugurated the Pakistan-China Friendship Center and attended the launch of the initiative “bright path of friendship between China and Pakistan”. He held talks with Pakistani friends from various circles and talked about the friendship between the two countries. Both sides agreed to mutually establish cultural centers, and gradually strengthen youth exchanges. The Chinese side announced providing 500 government scholarships for Pakistan within three years. Premier Wen pointed out China-Pakistan strategic cooperative partnership can only have lasting vitality when it benefits the general public. The two sides should work together to continue to inject new vigor and vitality into the friendship between China and Pakistan and pass the torch of bilateral friendship to future generations. Premier Wen Jiabao's heartfelt words about China-Pakistan friendship and cooperation initiatives were enthusiastically responded by the public in Pakistan and opened a new chapter of friendship and cooperation between China and Pakistan.
Yang concluded by saying Premier Wen's trip to India and Pakistan has achieved the desired objectives and was also closely followed by the international media. This visit will have significant and far-reaching implications on enhancing the good-neighborly friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation with India and with Pakistan and safeguarding peace, stability and common development of neighboring regions.