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Xi: Take India ties forward on right track

By MO JINGXI | China Daily | Updated: 2022-07-26 07:01
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Prime Minister Narendra Modi of India (left) clasps his hands together while greeting outgoing president Ram Nath Kovind (center) and new President Droupadi Murmu after they inspected an honor guard following Murmu's swearing-in ceremony, in New Delhi on Monday. [ALTAF HUSSAIN/REUTERS]

Message to nation's new president stresses importance of healthy relations

President Xi Jinping congratulated Droupadi Murmu on Monday on taking office as Indian president, saying that he is ready to work with Murmu to push China-India relations forward on the right track.

Xi said in a congratulatory message to Murmu, who won the presidential election on Thursday, that China and India are important neighbors.

A healthy and stable bilateral relationship conforms to the fundamental interests of both countries and their peoples, and is also conducive to regional and world peace, stability and development, Xi said.

Noting that he attaches great importance to China-India relations, Xi said he is willing to work with the new Indian president to enhance political mutual trust, deepen practical cooperation and properly handle differences to advance the development of bilateral ties along the right track.

Since March, the relations between China and India have generally shown momentum toward recovery. The two sides have made positive progress in aspects such as safeguarding stability along their border, as well as promoting practical cooperation and facilitating personnel exchanges.

Lin Minwang, deputy director of the Center for South Asian Studies at Fudan University, said that faced with a severe and complex international environment, China and India never cut off their communications and exchanges in the diplomatic or military fields.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi had met with Indian External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar twice this year, in March and July.

Last week, both China and India positively commented on the 16th round of China-India Corps Commander Level Meeting, during which the two sides discussed in a constructive and forward-looking manner the resolution of relevant issues along the Line of Actual Control in the Western Sector of China-India border areas.

As China has repeatedly stated, the boundary question does not represent the entirety of China-India relations and should be put in an appropriate position in terms of the overall bilateral relationship.

Data from the General Administration of Customs showed that bilateral trade between China and India stood at $125.6 billion in 2021. China's exports to India increased 46.2 percent to $97.5 billion last year, while India's exports to China rose 34.2 percent to $28.1 billion.

"This indicates the highly complementary nature of the economic structures of both countries, and shows the immense vitality and potential of their bilateral economic and trade relations," said Lan Jianxue, director of the Department for Asia-Pacific Studies at the China Institute of International Studies.

Cai Tongjuan, a researcher at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies at Renmin University of China in Beijing, said that as the world's two largest developing countries, appropriately handling China-India relations and promoting cooperation not only benefits the two sides but also has significance for world peace and development.

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