Professor Guo Xiangang, Vice President of the China Institute of International Studies, Professor Sergei Luzianin, Professor Manoranjan Mohanty, Distinguished Members of the Indian, Chinese and Russian delegations, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I am happy to attend the inaugural session of the 14th China-Russia-India Trilateral Conference here in Beijing. The CIIS is a highly reputed institution of international studies and diplomats resident in Beijing benefit immensely by interaction with this august body.
On behalf of the Embassy of India in Beijing, I wish this conference all success. The agenda for the next two days is comprehensive. I am sure that the eloquence and scholarship of this eminent gathering will do full justice to the wide range of subjects of considerable interest to our three countries.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
A fortnight ago, Prime Minister concluded a very successful official visit to China during which he had substantive discussions with President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang. The special gestures by the Chinese leadership in terms of reception, protocol and elements of the programme especially in Xi’an were a highlight of the visit. As Prime Minister remarked, this was not merely a reception for him or his delegation, but a reflection of the increased importance that both India and China attach to relations with each other.
The results achieved are indeed impressive: 24 agreements signed on the government-to-government side, 26 MoUs on the business-to-business side and two joint statements, including one on climate change.
Let me quote some statistics to put matters in perspective. In terms of government-to-government documents when Indian Prime Ministers visited China, there were a total of nine (9) signed by the two sides during the visit of Prime Minister to China in June 2003, eleven (11) during the visit of Prime Minister to China in January 2008 and nine (9) during the visit of Prime Minister to China in October 2013. Bilaterally speaking, the previous high was thirteen (13) during the visit of Chinese President to India in November 2006.
These deliverables look phenomenal when we consider that substantial outcomes were achieved last September when President Xi visited India. The fact that India and China could come up with over 50 outcome documents in just eight months reveals the huge potential that exists between our two countries, as well as the efforts that we have made to elevate our partnership.
The visit also went on to deliver a message to the international community on cooperation between India and China. There was agreement among the leaders that our relationship is poised to play a defining role in the 21st century in Asia and beyond, with the recognition that the simultaneous re-emergence of India and China as two major powers would have a profound impact on the course of this century.
The Joint Statement has a separate section on “shaping the regional and global agenda” where India and China, as two major poles in the global architecture, agree to cooperate on a host of issues ranging from WTO, climate change and terrorism to regional organizations. The Joint Statement also flagged the convergences between India, China and Russia in the context of the RIC and BRICS platforms.
Equally the bilateral relationship with the Russian Federation is growing and our strategic partnership is becoming stronger.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
This conference fulfills the understanding reached by the Foreign Ministers of India, China and Russia when they met in Beijing in February for their 13th meeting in the RIC format. In that meeting, the Foreign Ministers had conducted a broad-brush scan of the trilateral relationship and the prospects for the future. The joint communique issued at the end of the meeting touched upon a wide gamut of global and regional issues including reform of global governance structures, regional cooperation initiatives in Asia-Pacific, fight against terrorism, outer space, Afghanistan, Iran nuclear issue, Israel-Palestine, Syria, Iraq, Ukraine, WTO, post-2015 development agenda, climate change, and efforts to counter pandemics.
I am confident that over the next two days the promise of our cooperation will be explored and fresh ideas for stepped up engagement articulated.