India -China should build a people-centric partnership: Pranab Mukherjee
"Today, at a time of global economic uncertainty, our two countries, despite the pressure of having 40 per cent of the world's human population, have managed to maintain unity and growth," he said
President Pranab Mukherjee on Thursday said that India and China were poised to join the ranks of leading world powers and noted that the two sides should work to ensure that the coming generations were not burdened with their unresolved problems and differences.
He also outlined eight pillars of “people centric” approach that can enhance and strengthen co-operation between the two countries.
"Today, at a time of global economic uncertainty, our two countries, despite the pressure of having 40 per cent of the world's human population, have managed to maintain unity and growth. Our joint contribution to the world economy as well as regional and global stability, cannot be underestimated: India and China are poised to join the ranks of leading global powers," Mukherjee said.
"The two countries are emerging economic powers and should remain equally focused on nurturing global regional and global prosperity," he added.
Delivering a lecture on India-China relations at Peking University in Beijing, Mukherjee also said that "political understanding" between India and China is vital for closer developmental partnership.
"One of the ways it could be developed is through enhanced political communication. To build a people-centric partnership, there must be mutual trust predicated on mutual respect and a better appreciation of respective political and social systems. This can be achieved by closer contacts at all levels," he said.
Outlining eight "pillars" for the future of India-China relations, Mukherjee said, "I am confident that by placing these eight pillars at the foundation of a "people centric" approach we can successfully enhance and strengthen our co-operation to the mutual benefit of both our peoples."
"To build a people-centric partnership we must have mutual trust predicated on mutual respect and a better appreciation of our respective political and social systems. This can be achieved by closer contacts at all levels," he added.
Underlining the steps for people-centric India-China relations, the President said that both India and China were young societies and the youth share common aspirations and perceptions.
"The annual exchanges between India and China have been fruitful but both sides need to synergise their potential. In a digital age, joint film productions could be useful instruments for creating positive perceptions among our people," he said.
He added: "Travel can also be a very important binding factor between the two countries. Indians would like to have more opportunities to travel to their holy sites in China and, in turn, welcome more Chinese visits to Buddhist pilgrimage centres in India."
He called upon the entrepreneurs in India and China to jointly innovate new model for business and said that trade and commerce can be the most powerful agents in boosting the ties.
Mukherjee, who is on a four-day official visit to China, also voiced appreciation of Indian educational institutions linking up with Chinese varsities.
Addressing a round table conference of Vice-Chancellors and heads of higher education institutions of India and China, he said, "I am happy to see central institutes of higher learning from India are signing Memorandums of Understanding for cooperation with partner institutions of China."
"These understandings will create a collaborative platform for academic cooperation in the areas of research and education, joint seminars and exchange of faculty and students", he added.
He said the government of India, in partnership with Indian and international partners was taking a number of far reaching initiatives to create and revive the centres of excellence that can be ranked among the leading institutions of the world.