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Rediff.com  » News » 10 points to better Indo-China relations

10 points to better Indo-China relations

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November 21, 2006 15:53 IST

Chinese Premier Hu Jintao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh signed a joint declaration on Tuesday.

Full text:

Mr Hu Jintao, President of the People's Republic of China, is currently paying a State visit to the Republic of India from 20 to 23 November 2006 at the invitation of H E Dr A P J Abdul Kalam, President of the Republic of India.

2. President Hu Jintao held talks with Prime Minister Dr Manmohan Singh, earlier on Tuesday. He will call on President Dr. A. P. J. Abdul Kalam later in the day. Vice President Shri Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Speaker, Lok Sabha Shri Somnath Chatterjee, and Leader of the Opposition in Lok Sabha Shri L. K. Advani will pay courtesy calls on President Hu Jintao. Smt. Sonia Gandhi, Chairperson, United Progressive Alliance, will meet him.

Earlier on Tuesday, Minister of External Affairs Shri Pranab Mukherjee called on the visiting Chinese President. President Hu Jintao will deliver a policy address at the Vigyan Bhawan and attend the India-China Friendship Year commemorative function. He will also visit Agra and address a business summit in Mumbai, among other engagements.

3. The leaders of the two countries have noted with satisfaction the all-round progress made over recent years in India-China relations and their regional and multilateral cooperation. They reiterate the shared vision and fundamental principles for the future development of India-China relations, as embodied in the Declaration on Principles for Relations and Comprehensive Cooperation of 23 June, 2003 and the Joint Statement of 11 April, 2005 signed between the Prime Ministers of the two countries.

4. Both sides agree that the relationship between India and China, the two biggest developing countries in the world, is of global and strategic significance. Both countries are seeking to avail themselves of historic opportunities for development. Each side welcomes and takes a positive view of the development of the other, and considers the development of either side as a positive contribution to peace, stability and prosperity of Asia and the world. Both sides hold the view that there exist bright prospects for their common development, that they are not rivals or competitors but are partners for mutual benefit. They agree that there is enough space for them to grow together, achieve a higher scale of development, and play their respective roles in the region and beyond, while remaining sensitive to each other's concerns and aspirations.

Strategic partnership between the two countries with a similar worldview is consistent with their roles as two major developing countries. With the growing participation and role of the two countries in all key issues in today's globalising world, their partnership is vital for international efforts to deal with global challenges and threats. As two major countries in the emerging multi-polar global order, the simultaneous development of India and China will have a positive influence on the future international system.

5. In order to promote the sustainable socio-economic development of India and China, to fully realise the substantial potential for their cooperation in a wide range of areas, to upgrade India-China relations to a qualitatively new level, and to further substantiate and reinforce their Strategic and Cooperative Partnership, the leaders of the two countries have committed themselves to pursuing the following "ten-pronged strategy":

I. Ensuring Comprehensive Development of Bilateral Relations:

6. Both sides are committed to making the positive development and diversification of India-China relations in recent years an irreversible trend.

7. The two sides agree to hold regular Summit-level meetings, in each other's country and in multilateral forums. They agree that high-level exchanges between Governments, Parliaments and political parties play an important role in expanding overall bilateral cooperation.

8. In order to sustain, facilitate and promote greater engagement between the two countries, an additional Consulate General shall be opened in each other's country. The Indian side shall open a new Consulate General in Guangzhou, while the Chinese side shall open a new Consulate General in Kolkata. In this context, the mutually satisfactory resolution of the long-pending issue of the property of the Consulate General of India in Shanghai is a positive development.

II. Strengthening Institutional Linkages and Dialogue Mechanisms:

9. The two sides shall strengthen institutional linkages between their Governments in different areas and levels with a view to foster synergy and cooperation and promote greater understanding of each other's policies and positions on important national, regional and international issues. The concerned ministries and organisations of the two countries shall intensify exchanges under the existing dialogue mechanisms and revitalise those that have not been regularly used. The signing of the Protocol of Cooperation between the Ministry of External Affairs of India and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China during the visit is an important step in this direction.

III. Consolidating Commercial and Economic Exchanges:

10. Both sides believe that comprehensive economic and commercial engagement between India and China is a core component of their Strategic and Cooperative Partnership. They will endeavour to raise the volume of their bilateral trade to US$ 40 billion by 2010. They shall make joint efforts to diversify their trade basket, remove existing impediments, and optimally utilise the present and potential complementarities in their economies, in order to sustain and further strengthen bilateral commercial and economic cooperation. Towards this end, both sides will attach utmost priority to an early implementation of the decisions taken in March 2006 by the Ministerial-level Joint Economic Group, including the recommendations of the Joint Study Group, through mechanisms already created for this purpose. The Joint Task Force set up to study the feasibility and benefits of an India-China Regional Trading Arrangement shall complete its work by October 2007.

11. The conclusion of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement during the visit is a welcome development that will provide the institutional and legal basis to encourage and promote greater investment flows between the two countries.

12. The Chinese side has invited India to participate in the World Exposition Shanghai 2010. The Indian side expressed its appreciation and stated that it will actively support and participate in the event.

IV. Expanding All-Round Mutually Beneficial Cooperation:

13. The two sides agree to further strengthen positive trends in the all-round development of relations and fully realize the substantial potential of cooperation, including in trade, industry, finance, agriculture, water resources, energy, environment, transportation, infrastructure, information technology, health, education, media, culture, tourism, youth affairs and other fields.

14. Both sides agree to fully implement the provisions of the Memorandum on Cooperation in the field of Oil and Natural Gas signed in January 2006 and encourage collaboration between their enterprises, including through joint exploration and development of hydrocarbon resources in third countries.

15. Given the complementarities that India and China enjoy in the area of information and communication technology, the two sides agreed to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in this sector, through closer policy dialogue and enhanced collaboration among their enterprises, including in third countries.

16. The two sides shall fully implement the Memorandum of Understanding on Agricultural Cooperation, step up the exchange of experience in the field of agriculture and rural development, including food security, and hold discussions and consultations on the standards for agricultural goods at an early date in order to facilitate trade in such goods.

17. The two sides will set up an expert-level mechanism to discuss interaction and cooperation on the provision of flood season hydrological data, emergency management and other issues regarding trans-border rivers as agreed between them. The on-going provision of hydrological data for the Brahmaputra/Yarlung Zangbo and the Sutlej/Langqen Zangbo Rivers by the Chinese side to the Indian side has proved valuable in flood forecasting and mitigation. The two sides agree to continue bilateral discussions to finalise at an early date similar arrangements for the Parlung Zangbo and Lohit/Zayu Qu Rivers.

18. Both sides shall intensify their consultations, bilaterally and in multilateral fora, on sustainable development, bio-diversity, climate change and other related environmental issues of common concern. The cooperation in wildlife conservation, particularly in tiger conservation, shall be stepped up.

V. Instilling Mutual Trust and Confidence through Defence Cooperation:

19. The exchange of visits in the field of defence has resulted in building of mutual trust and enhancement of mutual understanding between the defence establishments of the two countries. Both sides shall fully implement the provisions of the Memorandum of Understanding for Exchanges and Cooperation in the field of Defence signed on 29 May 2006, which provides a sound foundation and institutional framework for further development of defence cooperation.

VI. Seeking Early Settlement of Outstanding Issues:

20. Both sides are committed to resolving outstanding differences, including on the boundary question, through peaceful means and in a fair, reasonable, mutually acceptable and proactive manner, while ensuring that such differences are not allowed to affect the positive development of bilateral relations.

21. The Special Representatives of India and China on the boundary question have taken steps and shall continue to strive to arrive at a boundary settlement on the basis of the Agreement on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles for the Settlement of India-China Boundary Question signed on 11 April 2005. An early settlement of the boundary question will advance the basic interests of the two countries and shall, therefore, be pursued as a strategic objective. The Special Representatives shall complete at an early date the task of finalising an appropriate framework for a final package settlement covering all sectors of the India-China boundary. Pending the resolution of the boundary question, both sides shall maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas in accordance with the agreements of 1993, 1996 and 2005.

22. Along with the talks between the Special Representatives, the Joint Working Group on the India-China Boundary Question shall expedite their work, including on the clarification and confirmation of the line of actual control and the implementation of confidence building measures. It was agreed to complete the process of exchanging maps indicating their respective perceptions of the entire alignment of the LAC on the basis of already agreed parameters as soon as possible.

VII. Promoting Trans-border Connectivity and Cooperation:

23. Both sides shall promote greater trans-border cooperation at mutually agreed sites in India-China border areas with the objective of transforming their border from being a dividing line into a bridge that unites them in cooperative pursuits. In this context, border trade between India and China, including the recent resumption of border trade through the Nathula La Pass, is of significant importance. The two sides shall strengthen border trade through the existing locations, while continuing to explore the possibility of opening additional trading routes in India-China border areas.

24. The two sides welcome the organisation of a car rally, recommended by the BCIM Forum, between Kolkata and Kunming via Bangladesh and Myanmar.

25. The Chinese side shall provide greater facilitation to Indian pilgrims for the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra. Both sides shall explore the possibility of opening an additional route for the Yatra.

VIII. Boosting Cooperation in Science and Technology:

26. Bearing in mind the priority attached by India and China to scientific and technological development and innovation as a cornerstone of their efforts towards sustainable socio-economic development, the two sides shall establish an India-China Partnership in Science and Technology. The two sides welcome the establishment of the Ministerial-level Committee on Science and Technology Cooperation as a positive step in guiding, coordinating and facilitating cooperative activities. They agree to launch joint projects in the areas of (i) earthquake engineering, (ii) climate change and weather forecasting, (iii) nano-technology with focus on advanced materials, and (iv) biotechnology and medicines with focus on bio-nano. The cooperation framework shall include entrepreneurs on both sides, besides the two Governments and their respective institutions.

27. Considering that for both India and China, expansion of civilian nuclear energy programme is an essential and important component of their national energy plans to ensure energy security¬ł the two sides agree to promote cooperation in the field of nuclear energy, consistent with their respective international commitments. As two countries with advanced scientific capabilities, they stress the importance of further deepening cooperation bilaterally as well as through multilateral projects such as ITER, and enhance exchanges in the related academic fields.

28. As countries, which have made advances in space technologies, both sides reiterate their commitment to the use of outer space for peaceful purposes. They agree to strengthen their cooperation in the use of space-based technologies for peaceful and developmental applications, including through satellite remote sensing, satellite communications, satellite meteorology and satellite launch services. Cooperation in practical applications of space technology, such as those related to disaster management and distance education, shall also be actively explored. Towards this end, both sides shall fully implement the provisions of the Memoranda of Understanding on the peaceful use of outer space signed between India and China in December 1991 and January 2002.

IX. Revitalising Cultural Ties and Nurturing People-to-People Exchanges:

29. The centuries-old cultural contacts between the two peoples provide a strong foundation for enduring friendship between India and China. The initiatives to rediscover these historical linkages and revitalise them in the present day context, including through an early completion of the Xuanzang Memorial in Nalanda and the Indian-style Buddhist Shrine in Luoyang, will further strengthen these bonds.

The two sides agree to strengthen cooperation in the area of spiritual and civilizational heritage, discuss collaboration in the digitisation of Buddhist manuscripts available in China as well as the re-development of Nalanda as a major centre of learning with the establishment of an international university on the basis of regional cooperation. In order to promote greater awareness of each other's culture, the two sides shall organise a "Festival of India" in China and a "Festival of China" in India, with a joint logo. Detailed modalities in this regard will be decided by the concerned authorities through mutual consultations.

30. In order to promote greater academic exchanges between India and China, the two sides agree to work towards the establishment of an "India-China Exchange Foundation". Detailed modalities of the Foundation will be worked out through mutual consultations.

31. India-China relations in the field of education will be further strengthened through a new Educational Exchange Programme concluded during the visit.

32. The two sides also agree to launch a five-year programme for mutual exchange of youth delegations. In this context, the Chinese side invites five hundred youth from India over the next five years.

33. With a view to vigorously promoting tourism between India and China, the two sides shall organise the "India-China Year of Friendship Through Tourism" in 2007 with a joint logo and take other initiatives, such as opening of the office of the China National Tourism Administration in India and an Indian Tourism Office in China, improved air connectivity, and continued liberalisation of the visa regime.

34. The two sides welcome cooperation linkages between the Indian States and the Chinese provinces in order to promote greater people-to-people exchanges.

X. Expanding Cooperation on Regional and International Stage:

35. The two sides shall hold regular exchange of views on the emerging security environment in the Asia-Pacific and in the world, and undertake proactive consultations on issues of immediate and emerging concern, so as to coordinate their positions and to make positive contribution towards peaceful resolution of such issues. They shall also have regular consultations on issues pertaining to regional peace, security and stability, such as regional maritime security, proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and related materials and their means of delivery, pandemics, natural disasters, illegal trafficking in arms, narcotics and people, and environmental degradation.

36. The two sides positively assess the trilateral dialogue mechanism among India, China and Russia and agree that exchanges and cooperation under it should be further substantiated.

37. Recognising that terrorism constitutes a crime against humanity that cannot be justified on any ground and condemning it in all forms and manifestations, the two sides agree to revitalise and broaden the India-China Dialogue Mechanism on Counter-Terrorism. They shall strengthen their efforts, bilaterally as also in the international fora, to fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism, and the linkages between terrorism and organized crime and illicit arms and drugs trafficking.

38. Recognising the central role of the United Nations in promoting international peace, security and development, both sides reiterate their determination to strengthen the UN system. The reform of the UN should be comprehensive, ensure balanced representation of developing and developed countries in the UN Security Council, and add to the efficiency and efficacy of the UN and its Security Council. The two sides shall conduct consultations on the question of UN reform, including the reform of the UN Security Council. The Indian side reiterates its aspirations for permanent membership of the UN Security Council. China attaches great importance to the status of India in international affairs. It understands and supports India's aspirations to play a greater role in the United Nations.

39. Energy security constitutes a vital and strategic issue for producing and consuming countries alike. It is consistent with the common interest of the two sides to establish an international energy order, which is fair, equitable, secure and stable, and to the benefit of the entire international community. Both sides shall also make joint efforts, bilaterally as well as in multilateral fora, to diversify the global energy mix and to increase the share in it of renewable energy sources. Global energy systems should take into account and meet the energy needs of both countries, as part and parcel of a stable, predictable, secure and clean energy future. In this context, international civilian nuclear cooperation should be advanced through innovative and forward-looking approaches, while safeguarding the effectiveness of international non-proliferation principles.

40. Both countries are committed to non-proliferation objectives and agree to expand their dialogue on the related issues, in bilateral and international fora.

41. As two large developing countries with relatively successful developmental experiences, India and China share unique responsibilities to protect and promote the interests of the developing world in the emerging international order and to help them benefit from the positive forces of globalisation. In this context, the two sides shall hold a two-part international seminar in Beijing and New Delhi, co-hosted by their Ministries of Finance, to share their developmental experience with other developing countries and the international community at large.

42. The two sides agree to strengthen their cooperation in the World Trade Organisation. They support the establishment of an open, fair, equitable, transparent and rule-based multilateral trading system, early resumption of Doha negotiations, and are determined to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of the developing countries. As founder Members of the G-20 and the G-33, they are determined to strengthen their cooperation and to coordinate with other members of the WTO, especially the developing countries, in order to secure an early resumption of the negotiations on the Doha Work Programme, placing the development dimension at its heart.

43. Recognising that regional integration is an important feature of the emerging international economic order, the two sides agree to expand their coordination within regional organisations and explore a new architecture for closer regional cooperation in Asia. They positively view each other's participation in Asian inter-regional, regional and sub-regional cooperation process, including in the progress towards the East Asian Community. In this context, the two sides agree to cooperate closely in the East Asia Summit.

The Indian side welcomes China's attainment of observer status in the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation. The Chinese side welcomes India's membership of the Asia-Europe Meeting. The two sides agree to expand their cooperation on issues on common interest under the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

44. The Indian side recalls that India was among the first countries to recognize that there is one China and that its one China policy has remained unaltered. The Indian side states that it would continue to abide by its one China policy. The Chinese side expresses its appreciation for the Indian position.

45. The Indian side reiterates that it has recognized the Tibet Autonomous Region as part of the territory of the People's Republic of China, and that it does not allow Tibetans to engage in anti-China political activities in India. The Chinese side expresses its appreciation for the Indian position.

46. The following agreements were signed during the visit:

i) Protocol on the Establishment of Consulates-General at Guangzhou and Kolkata;
ii) Protocol on Cooperation between the Ministry of External Affairs of India and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China;
iii) Agreement on the Issue of Property of the Consulate General of India in Shanghai;
iv) Agreement on Bilateral Investment Protection and Promotion;
v) Memorandum of Understanding on Inspection of Export Cargo (Iron Ore);
vi) Protocol on Phytosanitary Requirements for Exporting Rice from India to China;
vii) Memorandum of Understanding between Forward Markets Commission of India and China Securities Regulatory Commission regarding Commodity Futures Regulatory Cooperation;
viii) Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Indian Institute of Public Administration and the Central Party School of the Communist Party of China;
ix) Agreement on Forestry Cooperation;
x) Memorandum of Understanding between the Indian Council of Agricultural Research and the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences;
xi) Exchange Programme on Cooperation in the Field of Education;
xii) Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation in the Conservation of Cultural Heritage; and
xiii) Agreement on Preventing Theft, Clandestine Excavation and Illicit Import and Export of Cultural Property.

47. The two sides believe that the highly successful visit of President Hu Jintao to India marks the high point of the India-China Friendship Year in 2006, promotes mutual understanding and trust, helps in substantiating the Strategic and Cooperative Partnership between the two countries and leads to a qualitative and quantum improvement in bilateral relations. They also agree that this Joint Statement provides a valuable blueprint for enduring development and diversification of the relations between India and China and sustained enrichment of their strategic partnership.

48. President Hu Jintao extended invitations to President Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh to visit China. The invitations were accepted with appreciation. The timing of the visits will be decided through diplomatic channels.

New Delhi
21 November 2006
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