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At the invitation of H.E. Mr. Li Keqiang, Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, the Prime Minister of the Republic of India, Dr. Manmohan Singh paid an official visit to China from 22-24 October 2013. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh called on H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China and held talks with Premier Mr. Li Keqiang. He also met with H.E. Mr. Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the National People’s Congress.
2. The two sides held wide ranging talks on bilateral, regional and international issues of common interest and reached broad consensus. Recalling the important understandings reached between leaders of the two countries this year, the two sides reaffirmed their commitment to take forward their Strategic and Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Prosperity. This would be done by following the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence [Panchsheel] and displaying mutual respect and sensitivity to each other’s concerns and aspirations. The exchange of visits by the Prime Minister of India and the Premier of China within the same calendar year was the first since 1954 and has great significance.
3. The leaders recognized that India and China are poised to enter a new stage of economic engagement based on pragmatic cooperation and mutually advantageous policies and practices. They expected the Strategic Economic Dialogue during its meeting in November/December 2013 to work out specific projects and initiatives in areas that have already been broadly agreed upon. The Joint Economic Group will continue to expand the bilateral economic cooperation and promote a balanced growth of bilateral trade. Its Working Groups will expeditiously discharge the mandate given to them in pursuit of those objectives. The two sides agreed to look into the prospects of a bilateral Regional Trade Arrangement (RTA). They will also review the state of the negotiation on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). Efforts to conclude a framework agreement for the establishment of industrial zones to provide platforms of cluster type development for enterprises of the two countries would be expedited. Economic agreements signed at the conclusion of the talks reflect the progress made since May 2013.
4. Pursuant to the understanding reached between the two leaders in May 2013, India and China have each established a Study Group on the BCIM [Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar] Economic Corridor. The visit of the Chinese delegation to India in this regard was noted as a positive step. Further discussions on concepts and alignment of the economic corridor are envisaged. Both India and China would continue to discuss with the other parties to this initiative, and hold the first BCIM Joint Study Group meeting in coming December to study the specific programs on building the BCIM Economic Corridor.
5. Special Representatives, who have been charged with exploring a framework of settlement of the India-China boundary question, were encouraged by the two leaders to continue their efforts in that direction. Peace and tranquility on the India-China border was recognized as an important guarantor for the development and continued growth of bilateral relations. Building on previous agreements signed in 1993, 1996 and 2005 that recognize the principle of mutual and equal security, the two countries signed a Border Defence Cooperation Agreement that will strengthen maintenance of stability on the border.
6. Defence exchanges and military exercises are important in building greater trust and confidence. The holding of a counter-terrorism exercise in November 2013 underlines the shared desire of both Governments to enhance mutual understanding. Exchanges and visits agreed upon by the Defence Ministers of the two countries in July 2013 will be implemented step by step.
7. The Indian side deeply appreciated the resources and efforts of the Chinese Government in making available data on and emergency management of the trans-border rivers. The leaders welcomed the signing of a MoU on Strengthening Cooperation on Trans-border Rivers. The two sides agreed to further strengthen cooperation and, within the Expert Level Mechanism, work together on provision of flood-season hydrological data and emergency management, and exchange views on other issues of mutual interest.
8. The shared goal of an expanded engagement requires facilitating greater people-to-people contacts and exchanges. The Program of Cultural Exchange for the years 2013-2015 which includes art and culture, cultural heritage, youth affairs, education and sports, media, publications and mass communications was also signed. This would be supported by sister-city relationships that have been concluded initially on a pilot basis.
9. In addition to marking 2014 as a Year of Friendly Exchanges, India and China will discuss with Myanmar appropriate ways of commemorating the 60th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence [Panchsheel].
10. The two leaders discussed political and economic issues of regional and global significance, including those with a potential to affect the growth and development prospects of their respective nations. They agreed to further strengthen coordination and cooperation in multilateral forums including Russia-India-China, BRICS, and G-20 to jointly tackle global issues such as climate change, international terrorism, food and energy security, and to establish a fair and equitable international political and economic system. They encouraged the various mechanisms and dialogues covering relevant issues to meet regularly to ensure a proper appreciation of each other’s concerns and interests.
11. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh expressed his appreciation for the warmth of his reception and the hospitality extended by the Chinese Government. He invited Premier Mr. Li Keqiang to visit India at a time of mutual convenience.