Power of people-to-people links key in China-India bilateral relations

Appointed by President Xi Jinping, Ambassador Xu is the 17th Chinese envoy to India and is committed to enhancing bilateral ties during this critical juncture.

At a warm welcome reception, Xu Feihong, the newly appointed Chinese Ambassador to India, emphasised the importance of China-India relations and the potential for future cooperation between the two nations.

Appointed by President Xi Jinping, Ambassador Xu is the 17th Chinese envoy to India and is committed to enhancing bilateral ties during this critical juncture.

Reflecting on his first visit to India ten years ago, Ambassador Xu shared his excitement about his new role.

“It is an honour to return to this incredible country and work with Indian friends from all walks of life to promote China-India relations,” he remarked.

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Since taking office nearly two months ago, Ambassador Xu has engaged with numerous Indian counterparts, gaining insights into their perspectives on China-India relations. Despite the challenges, there is a shared recognition of the importance of these ties and confidence in their future.

“The confidence comes from the strategic guidance of the leaders of the two countries,” Xu stated.

“President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi attach great importance to China-India relations. They reached important consensus that China and India are cooperation partners and development opportunities, not competitors or threats, and charted the course for the development of bilateral relations.”

Premier Li Qiang echoed this sentiment in his congratulatory message to Prime Minister Modi, emphasising that a sound and steady China-India relationship benefits both nations, the region, and the world.

Highlighting the practical need for cooperation, Ambassador Xu noted the complementary nature of the Chinese and Indian economies. “China is India’s largest trading partner, with a bilateral trade volume of 136.2 billion USD last year,” he said.

“There are many Indian friends visiting China every day, and 80% are for business purpose. This fully shows the vitality of economic and trade cooperation and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries.”

Ambassador Xu also underscored the deep historical ties and cultural exchanges between China and India. “In China, Dr. Kotnis and Gurudev Rabindranath Tagore are well-known, and Bollywood films and Yoga enjoy great popularity,” he observed.

“The Chinese people are willing to be friends and development partners with the Indian people forever.”

Addressing the broader context of global changes, Xu highlighted the shared responsibilities of China and India as major countries with ancient civilisations. “We have the wisdom and capabilities to find the way for major neighboring countries to get along well,” he asserted. He referred to the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, jointly advocated by China, India, and Myanmar seventy years ago, as a “golden key” guiding China-India relations.

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Xu reiterated President Xi Jinping’s recent address at the Conference Marking the 70th Anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. Xi stressed the importance of sovereign equality, mutual respect, peace and security, and inclusive prosperity.

“China stands ready to work with India and other sides to carry forward the spirit of the Five Principles, shoulder the responsibility of building a community with a shared future for mankind, and make unremitting efforts toward a brighter future of humanity,” Xu said.

Ambassador Xu emphasised that the improvement and development of bilateral relations require joint efforts. He outlined several key areas for cooperation:

  1. Enhancing Political Mutual Trust
  2. Advancing Exchanges and Cooperation
  3. Managing Differences Properly
  4. Close Cooperation in International Fora

Concluding his address, Ambassador Xu drew on a powerful metaphor:

“China and India are close neighbors. If we only look through our own perspective, neither of us can see the whole picture of the Himalayas. Only if we stand high, can we look far with vision and conviction. I deeply believe that, under the guidance of our two leaders and with the joint efforts of the two peoples, China-India relations will definitely proceed further along the sound and stable track, and bring more benefits to our two peoples and the world.”

Ambassador Xu expressed deep belief that under the guidance of their leaders and with the joint efforts of their peoples, China-India relations will advance along a sound and stable track, bringing more benefits to both nations and the world.

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