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2012 – The year of India-China friendship and cooperation

March 30, 2012

Strengthening India-China bilateral ties, leaders of both nations President Hu Jinatao and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh came together to declare 2012 as the year of India-China friendship and cooperation. Agreeing that bilateral relations were witnessing a ‘very sound momentum’, both leaders also unveiled initiatives to boost cultural exchanges and overall contacts.

As the two largest developing nations and two major Asian powers, China and India face important development opportunities and China-India relations have great potential for further development, said Hu.

He added that China is willing to see a peaceful, developed and prosperous India, and is committed to building a more rigorous China-India relationship. He proposed that the two sides enhance dialogue and coordination on regional issues to safeguard peace and stability and promote common development in the region.

Singh said India-China relations are one of the most important bilateral relationships in the 21st century. The two countries can learn from each other and work together for development as both countries are seeking fast development.

He also expressed the hope to work with China to maintain peace and security on the borders and properly resolve border issues through friendly talks.

Recent, high level exchanges between the two neighbours have been further fortified by maintaining a friendly and open dialogue between the sweet and sour countries. During the talks, both nations also agreed to open their markets further to each other in order to promote regional trade and development. While China-India bilateral trade is on course to hit US$100 billion to 2015, India’s trade deficit with China continues to yawn. In lieu of the paltry present global economic  scene, the two nations also agreed that it would be prudent to boost bilateral trade to keep their GDP’s from falling sharply. Analysts have predicted that both India and China will see a drop in GDP numbers next year.

The neighbors identified a five point agenda for bettering bilateral relations –

First, the two countries should maintain high-level contacts and increase political mutual trust. The two countries should also expand exchanges between their governments, legislatures, political parties and the military, strengthen strategic communication through various consultation mechanisms and carry out dialogues on new topics such as maritime cooperation.

Second, the two sides should deepen practical cooperation and expand mutual benefits. The two countries should enhance economic policy coordination and cooperate in the fields of infrastructure, information technology, mutual investment and environmental protection.

Third, China and India should expand cultural and people-to-people exchanges so as to promote mutual understanding.

Fourth, the two countries should properly handle their differences and work for peace and stability. They urged to push forward border talks in the spirit of peace, friendship, equality, mutual respect and mutual understanding so as to jointly safeguard peace and security on the borders.

Finally, the two countries should strengthen communication and coordination to expand cooperation in international affairs. China and India should enhance coordination and cooperation within the frameworks of the United Nations, the Group of 20 and BRICS, among others, and work together to address major global challenges such as climate change, energy and food security.

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