Monday, Oct 03, 2022

India, China must expand shared interests: President Mukherjee

"Experience leads me to believe that our two nations do have the capability to significantly enhance our convergences and move forward," said Mukherjee.

India, China, Indo China,India China, Pranab Mukherjee, Chabahar port, President Pranab Mukherjee, India President, President Xi Jinping, China president, Delhi Tehran, India China business, India China trade, World trade, World business President Pranab Mukherjee said that India will constantly engage in dialogue with China so that they can resolve all outstanding issues which are holding both the countries back from developing to their potentials. (Source: PTI)

Ahead of his important discussions with President Xi Jinping and other top Chinese leaders on Thursday, President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said India and China must expand their shared interests for the good of the world and move forward significantly enhancing their convergences.

Making his maiden visit as the Head of the State, Mukherjee, a veteran of the Indian political system, feels this was necessary not just for the good of the two countries but for the world in general.

“This is the message that I bring on this visit,” the President told reporters as he began the Beijing leg of his four-day State Visit to China.

“Experience leads me to believe that our two nations do have the capability to significantly enhance our convergences and move forward.

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“A rising India and rising China must expand their shared interests – not only because it is good for them (but also for the good of the world). This is the message that I bring on this visit,” he said.

He was replying to a question on what his experience was on his meetings in China with leaders during the visit that began yesterday in the highly-industrialised province of Guangdong and his interactions with several important personalities.

Mukherjee, 80, who has visited China in various capacities during his long political career including as Foreign Minister, Defence Minister and Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, had last night said that the cardinal principle of Indian diplomacy and its relationship with China is expanding areas of agreement and reducing divergence.

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“We have never indulged in expanding divergence but reducing divergence and expanding areas of agreement. This is the cardinal principle of Indian diplomacy,” he said last night, addressing the Indian community in Guangzhou, the capital of Guangdong.

“I have had the privilege of being associated for many decades in different capacities with the development and growth of India-China ties,” he said.

On Thursday the President will seek to give further political push to the engagement with the Chinese leadership when he meets President Xi in the Great Hall of the People to hold discussions on bilateral, regional and international issues.

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He is also scheduled to meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Chairman of the National People’s Congress Zhang Dejiang.

Observers say the high-level engagement by the Chinese leadership with the President shows the importance they have accorded to a political veteran who carries a certain heft on account of his vast experience in political administration.

Addressing a reception for cultural and academic and eminent personalities in Beijing on Wednesday, Mukherjee said as India pursues its primary goal of building a modern India, peace, prosperity and sustainable development we seek to engage with China in a spirit of equality and friendship.

“We seek to develop a matrix of cross-cutting contacts to enhance our mutual understanding and enrich our bilateral discourse. Far too often, we rely on borrowed prisms and secondary sources to understand each other.

“We seek to overcome this by increasing direct exchanges and enabling people on both sides to invest in each other’s progress,” he said in the presence of Chinese Vice President Li Yuanchao.

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The President noted that the presence of the Vice President testified to the high importance China attached to the enduring academic and cultural exchanges between two ancient civilisations.

Before his departure from India, the President had said his objective during the visit would be to discuss all important issues.

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“We desire to constantly engage in dialogue with China to find a resolution of all outstanding issues which we consider holding us back from fully developing our potential,” he had said.

“We are doing well but the full potentiality is yet to be achieved. That is why we want to resolve all outstanding issues in a mutually acceptable manner, keeping in mind the aspirations, concerns and sensitivities of each country,” he had said.

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Mukherjee also sought from China greater market for Indian products like drugs and pharmaceuticals, IT and IT–related services and agro-products.

“Although the trade balance continues to be in favour of China, we look forward to expanding our commerce to make it more equitable,” he said while addressing a meeting of the India-China Business Forum in Guangzhou.

“India would like to see a greater market for our products in China – particularly in sectors where we have natural complementarities – as in the areas of drugs and pharmaceuticals, IT and IT-related services and agro-products,” he said in the southern Chinese industrial hub.

Trade deficit between India and China has risen to $44.7 billion during April-January period of 2015-16.

India’s exports to China stood at $7.56 billion during the period whereas the imports has jumped to $ 52.26 billion in April-January. In 2014-15, the deficit was aggregated at $48.48 billion, according to official figures.

The president also promised a conducive environment for Chinese investors and urged them to participate in ‘Make in India’ and other flagship programmes of the government to boost bilateral trade.

“We will facilitate your efforts to make your investments in India profitable. We must take advantage of the opportunities that abound in the growth of both our economies,” he said at the forum, attended by industrialists and businessmen of both sides.

He said China’s economic achievements are a source of inspiration for India.

“We believe that stepping up our two way trade and investment flows will be of mutual benefit to both our nations. Our bilateral trade has grown steadily since the turn of this century. From USD 2.91 billion in the year 2000, it reached the level of $71 billion last year,” he noted.

Noting that India has recorded a growth rate of 7.6 per cent each year for over a decade now, the President said India believes that it cannot grow in isolation.

“In an increasingly interconnected world, India would like to benefit from technology advances and best practices of different countries.

“The comprehensive reforms introduced in key areas of our economy have enhanced the ease of doing business in India. Our foreign investment regime has been liberalised through simplified procedures. And removal of restrictions on foreign investments,” he said.

The President said these reforms have renewed the interest of global investors in India.
In 2014, there was a 32 per cent growth in investments and in 2015, India emerged as one of the biggest global investment destinations, he said.

First published on: 25-05-2016 at 09:14:23 pm
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