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The Road Ahead Is Long and Winding Though, A Start Will Bring An Arrival
--State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on President Xi Jinping's Attendance at the Second Informal Meeting Between Chinese and Indian Leaders in India and His State Visit to Nepal

From October 11 to 13, 2019, President Xi Jinping travelled to India for the second informal meeting between Chinese and Indian leaders and paid a state visit to Nepal upon invitation. As the trip comes to the end, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi briefed the accompanying journalists on the visits.

Wang Yi said, China has just celebrated the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China, and President Xi Jinping embarked on a new diplomatic journey and visited South Asia, outlining the neighborhood diplomacy and making overall planning. Over the past three days and two nights, President Xi Jinping has spared no effort to attend a number of activities, ranging from grand and warm state activities to informal and in-depth talks. President Xi Jinping has planned the long-term development of relations between China and the two countries from a historical perspective, a strategic perspective and a realistic perspective. The two countries attached great importance to President Xi Jinping and gave him a grand and warm welcome. Local people sang and danced to welcome President Xi Jinping. The visits, with rich content and fruitful results, have injected new impetus into China's relations with India and Nepal, built a new platform for good-neighborliness and friendliness in South Asia and opened up new prospects for regional practical cooperation. The visits have drawn keen interest of both Chinese and foreign media and are generally regarded as visits of historic significance.

I. Enhance strategic mutual trust between China and India and explore a path of win-win coexistence

Wang Yi said, high-level strategic guidance is an irreplaceable guarantee for the sound and stable development of China-India relations. In April last year, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India had a successful meeting in Wuhan, ushering bilateral relations into a new stage of sound development. Prime Minister Narendra Modi warmly invited President Xi Jinping to attend the second informal meeting between Chinese and Indian leaders in India. He selected Chennai, a famous historical and cultural city, as the meeting venue, and made arrangements for the meeting personally. President Xi Jinping arrived as expected. From the banks of the Yangtze River to the Indian Ocean, from Wuhan to Chennai, the leaders of the two countries took their time to discuss the international situation in an all-round way, steering the course for the development of China-India relations.

The visit enhances the in-depth strategic communication. During his stay in India, President Xi Jinping had long and in-depth exchanges of views with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, talking about the experience of China and India working together for national independence and liberation, the pioneering work of jointly advocating the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, and the aspirations of jointly realizing the Chinese dream and the Indian dream. President Xi Jinping stressed, the world is undergoing major changes unseen in a century. China and India, as the two most populous countries, the two largest developing countries and representatives of emerging economies, are both at a critical stage of national development and national renewal. Both countries share huge potential and broad space for cooperation. Bilateral relations have transcended the bilateral scope and are of great and far-reaching strategic significance. China and India should be good neighbors living in harmony and good partners going forward hand in hand. It is the only correct choice of both sides to realize the duet of the Chinese "dragon" and the Indian "elephant", which serves best the fundamental interests of the two countries and their peoples and the lasting peace and prosperity of the world. The two sides should communicate on major issues in a timely fashion, respect each other's core interests, gradually seek understanding and constantly resolve differences. The Chinese side hopes to develop well, and has the same hope for India. Prime Minister Narendra Modi spoke highly of President Xi Jinping's foresight and sagacity, saying that entering the 21st century, the world peace and human progress cannot be achieved without India-China cooperation. The two countries should not only face history, but also transcend the past and open up the future. The two sides should accommodate each other's major concerns, effectively manage and handle differences, prevent differences from becoming disputes, develop a closer partnership and usher in a new era of India-China relations.

The visit promotes mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields. President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi put forward clear goals and clear ideas on deepening and expanding practical cooperation. They decided to set up a high-level economic and trade dialogue mechanism to strengthen the alignment of economic development strategies, and promote balanced and sustainable growth of bilateral trade by exploring the establishment of a manufacturing partnership. The two leaders agreed to expand "China-India Plus" cooperation, advance regional connectivity building, and work with other parties to conclude the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership at an early date. In the face of rising unilateralism and protectionism, the two sides agreed to strengthen coordination within such multilateral frameworks as the G20, the BRICS, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and the China-Russia-India cooperation, take a clear-cut stand to maintain the international system with the United Nations as the core and the international order based on international law, uphold multilateralism and the multilateral trade system, and jointly cope with global challenges.

The visit advances exchanges and mutual learning between civilizations. Accompanied by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Xi Jinping visited the Group of Monuments at Mahabalipuram, a site of Indian civilization. Prime Minister Narendra Modi explained the details in person. The two leaders traced the origins of mutual learning between Chinese and Indian civilizations and outlined a blueprint for people-to-people and cultural exchanges and dialogue. President Xi Jinping pointed out, China and India are both ancient civilizations with a history of thousands of years and enjoy exchanges and mutual learning till now. China and India should carry out people-to-people and cultural exchanges in a wider range and at a deeper level, jointly advocate and promote dialogue and exchanges among different civilizations, and continue to renew the glory of Asian civilizations. Prime Minister Narendra Modi fully agreed on this, saying that the wisdom in our two ancient and profound civilizations provides enlightenment for solving various challenges facing the world today. President Xi Jinping's visit has tightened the ties between the two ancient civilizations. The two sides agreed to designate 2020 as the China-India year of cultural and people-to-people exchange, and hold 70 events to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and India.

The two leaders spoke positively of the outcomes of the meeting and agreed to continue to maintain this useful and productive strategic communication. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has accepted President Xi Jinping's invitation and will travel to China again for meetings.

II. Deepen the traditional friendship between China and Nepal and strengthen the bond of amicability

Wang Yi said, for more than half of a century since the establishment of diplomatic relations, China and Nepal have always respected, trusted and supported each other, setting a fine example of harmonious coexistence between countries with different systems and sizes. Nepal is China's important partner of the joint building of the Belt and Road Initiative in South Asia, and the successive administrations of Nepal have all been friendly to China. Nepal has just finished political transformation and faces new opportunities for stability and development. The Nepali side has repeatedly invited President Xi Jinping to visit Nepal and looks forward to strengthening bilateral cooperation to boost its own economic and social development. In the first state visit to Nepal by a Chinese president in 23 years, President Xi Jinping and the leaders of the Nepali side jointly planned for the future development of bilateral relations, and witnessed the signing of 20 cooperation documents concerning various areas of the national interest and people's livelihood, opening up new and bright prospects for the lasting friendship between China and Nepal.

Bilateral relations have been lifted to a new height. President Xi Jinping and President Bidya Devi Bhandari announced together China-Nepal strategic partnership of cooperation featuring ever-lasting friendship for development and prosperity in line with the spirit of mutual support and win-win cooperation. Such a new positioning helps chart the course for future development of bilateral relations, and makes China-Nepal relations even more influential in the region. President Xi Jinping noted, both countries should regard building a community with a shared future of both countries as the long-term goal of the development of bilateral relations. The Chinese side respects the social system and development path independently chosen by the Nepali side and supports the Nepali side's efforts in safeguarding national independence, sovereignty and legitimate rights. The Chinese side stands ready to work with the Nepali side to maintain common security and enhance communication and coordination in multilateral areas. Nepali leaders such as President Bidya Devi Bhandari, Prime Minister Khadga Prasad Sharma Oli, Co-chairman of the Nepal Communist Party Pushpa Kamal Dahal and President of the Nepali Congress Party Sher Bahadur Deuba all expressed that Nepal and China are close friends sharing weal and woe, and that there is no problem between the two countries but only friendship and cooperation. The Nepali side stands firm in upholding the One China policy and will never allow any force to use its territory for separatist activities against China. No matter how the international circumstances change, the Nepali side will resolutely follow the friendly policy toward China. We feel deeply that our friendship has a solid non-governmental foundation, and has become the consensus of various political parties and all walks of life in Nepal.

New progress in connectivity construction between the two sides has been made. President Xi Jinping and Nepali leaders have agreed to align the joint building of the Belt and Road Initiative by China and Nepal with Nepal's national development strategy of transforming itself into a land-linked country. The two countries will accelerate the building of the Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network through connectivity projects including ports, highways, railways, aviation and communications. The two sides have announced the launch of a feasibility study of the China-Nepal cross-border railway, which marks a huge step toward our dream of connectivity. All walks of life in Nepal believe that strengthening connectivity under the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative gives the Nepali side the hope of transforming itself from a landlocked to a land-linked country. The Trans-Himalayan Multi-Dimensional Connectivity Network will tighten the bonds between both countries and help the Nepali side play the role of a bridge in economic development in the region, which will be convenient for both countries and beneficial to the region.

Good-neighborly and friendly cooperation between the two countries has also yielded new results. President Xi Jinping pointed out, the two sides need to build an all-around cooperation pattern, and particularly enhance their cooperation in four areas of trade and investment, post-disaster reconstruction, energy and tourism. As Nepal boasts huge hydropower resources, President Xi Jinping said, the Chinese side is willing to share experience in hydropower resources exploration. The Chinese side has pledged to continue supporting Nepal in the country's post-disaster reconstruction, and providing support and assistance within China's capacity for the improvement of local people's livelihood. The two sides agreed to expand exchanges and cooperation in such fields as education and youth, and at local levels to enhance people-to-people bonds. Regarding Mount Zhumulangma as the epitome of our friendship, both countries will carry out cooperation centering on Mount Zhumulangma in such areas including climate change and ecotourism and make them the new highlights of bilateral cooperation.

III. Maintain regional peace and stability and promote regional common development

Wang Yi said, the recent strained India-Pakistan relations and unrest and turbulence in the region have drawn grave concerns from the international community. Both India and Pakistan are friendly neighbors of China, and the Chinese side hopes that the two countries can properly manage and control differences and improve their relations. Prior to his trip to South Asia, President Xi Jinping listened to the views and propositions of the Pakistani side in his meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan of Pakistan. In Chennai, President Xi Jinping had in-depth communication on the regional situation with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and encouraged all parties concerned to solve the current issues through dialogue. President Xi Jinping stressed, the Chinese side sincerely expects sound China-India relations, China-Pakistan relations and India-Pakistan relations, and expects to see all sides work together to promote regional peace and stability, and achieve common development and prosperity. President Xi Jinping also elaborated on the Chinese side's propositions on enhancing "China-India Plus" cooperation and stressed that the cooperation can be gradually expanded to other countries in South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa on the basis of the existing "China-India-Afghanistan" cooperation. President Xi Jinping pointed out, China and India should play a leading role in regional connectivity construction, and create a smoother connectivity network. The two sides should also work together to contribute to the early conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement. The leaders of the two countries have formed a positive consensus on this. Wang Yi said, the Chinese side is willing to develop and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation with all South Asian countries. China's respective relations with India, Pakistan and other South Asian countries, with respective unique history and characteristics, can run in parallel and develop together, neither targeting any third party nor being influenced by a third party.

IV. Share China's successful experience and showcase China's bright future

Wang Yi said, the international community has lively discussions about the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and pays attention to China's success story and its global significance. During the visits, leaders of India and Nepal once again extended warm congratulations to President Xi Jinping, expressing their sincere admirations for the remarkable achievements China has made in the past seven decades. President Xi Jinping made incisive statement on China's experience in successful development, briefed on the original aspirations and mission of the Communist Party of China, and had in-depth exchanges on state governance and administration with foreign leaders.

President Xi Jinping pointed out, over the past 70 years, the Chinese nation has realized a tremendous transformation: it has stood up, grown rich and is becoming stronger, creating Chinese miracles that the world has marveled at. This is an extraordinary journey with flowers and applauses, as well as bumps and challenges. No matter how the external situation changes, China will unswervingly run its own affairs well and advance socialism with Chinese characteristics regardless of outside noises. A stable, open and prosperous China will always be a development opportunity for the world. Leaders of both countries said, China's development sets an example of self-reliance for developing countries, and creates significant opportunities for the two countries, South Asia and the world to achieve peace and prosperity. China's development and rise are unstoppable. Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, India and China, both in the process of national rejuvenation, are facing many similar challenges, and the Indian side is willing to learn the Chinese side's successful practices in poverty alleviation, ecological civilization construction and anti-corruption. The Nepali side looks forward to drawing useful experience from China's great success, and believes that China can help Nepal realize its vision of "Prosperous Nepal, Happy Nepali".

Wang Yi said at last, President Xi Jinping's visits show another successful practice of the major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics. The Himalayas separate China from India and Nepal. However, a start will bring an arrival even the road ahead is long and winding though. President Xi Jinping makes friends wholeheartedly, resolves differences with sincerity and promotes cooperation with persistence, showcasing the resolution and mission to turn a deep chasm into a thoroughfare and promote the building of a community with a shared future with neighboring countries. We will earnestly implement Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy and neighborhood diplomacy featuring amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness, enhance solidarity and cooperation with developing countries and emerging economies, and constantly break new ground in the major country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, so as to create sound neighboring and external conditions for realizing the two centenary goals.

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