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Remarks by Vice President Li Yuanchao at the Reception In Honor of President Pranab Mukherjee

2016/05/26

Beijing, 25 May 2016

Your Excellency Pranab Mukherjee,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Friends,

Good evening!

It gives me great pleasure to attend this reception in honor of President Mukherjee, co-organized by the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries and the Indian Embassy in China. On behalf of the Chinese government, I wish to extend warm welcome to President Mukherjee on your state visit to China at the invitation of President Xi Jinping. In the following two days, you will meet with President Xi Jinping for an in-depth discussion on China-India cooperation in a wide range of areas, and will also meet with Premier Li Keqiang and NPC Chairman Zhang Dejiang. We wish this visit a productive success.

President Mukherjee is a senior statesman and a highly revered figure in India. You have witnessed and contributed to the development of China-India friendship, and is an old familiar friend of the Chinese people. During my visit to India last year, I had the privilege to be received by you, Mr. President, and was deeply impressed by your profound political wisdom and deep insights in China-India relations.

Linked by mountains and rivers, China and India have a long history of friendly exchanges. The White Horse Temple in Luoyang, the Great Ci'en Temple in Xi'an, and the Ajanta Caves in India all testify to the flourishing Buddhist exchanges between our two countries in history. The ancient Silk Road was a road of exchange and mutual learning between our two countries in religion, philosophy, literature, art, science and technology and medicine that showcased the broadmindedness, inclusiveness and confidence of our two ancient nations. In the 1950s, China and India jointly proposed the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, encapsulating the wisdom of the two great civilizations of the East and offering a template of harmonious coexistence among states.

In recent years, China-India cooperation started to pick up speed. We have affirmed the goal of building a closer developmental partnership and our cooperation across the board has yielded encouraging results. Major cooperation projects, including the pioneering ones of railway and industrial parks, are making progress. China-India Cultural Exchange Programme is being implemented smoothly. Friendly interaction and mutual learning have grown into the "China craze" in India and the "India craze" in China.

Looking into the future, development of China and India can offer each other great complementarities and huge potentials. As the two largest developing countries and emerging markets, China and India have already become the strongest driving force for regional and world economic growth. Last year, our bilateral trade exceeded US$70 billion, registering a new record high.

Both China and India are now endeavoring to realize national renewal and advance domestic reforms. The Chinese dream and the Indian dream are closely connected. We are not only cooperation partners, but also partners in development. Our common interests largely prevail over our differences. The Chinese government attaches great importance to its relationship with India. We see India's development as an opportunity for our own development. We are ready to work together with India to build a closer developmental partnership and write a new chapter of China-India relations. I hope our two sides will strengthen political mutual trust, properly manage differences, expand practical cooperation and share the experience of development. I also hope we will enhance traditional friendship and expand exchanges between our youth, think tanks, media and at sub-national level to foster a better and fast-growing China-India relationship.

Here, I wish to express my sincere greetings and pay my high tribute to all the friends who have long committed to China-India friendship. I hope you will continue to cultivate and build this friendship. Let us sow the seeds of amity widely and maintain our friendship from generation to generation.

Finally, I wish President Mukherjee's visit to China a great success.

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