On her maiden visit to China, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday proposed a six point “template” to broad base Sino-India engagement with an action oriented approach to usher in Asian century.
Addressing an India-China Media forum at the start of her visit, Swaraj proposed the two countries should follow action oriented approach, broad base bilateral engagement, convergence of common, regional and global interests, develop new areas of cooperation, expand strategic communication, fullfill common aspirations to usher “Asian century”.
Highlighting that her visit is taking place against the backdrop of new government taking over office in India with a decisive mandate, Swaraj said the Prime Minister Narendra Modi led government propelled the aspiration of young, vibrant and enterprising generation.
“Even in the last eight months it is already evident that dramatic transformations are underway in my country that will accelerate our journey to modernity,” Swaraj said.
In the background of a strong government emerging in India, Swaraj said Modi already had three meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping and met Premier Li Keqiang.
On the defence relations between the two countries Swaraj said “we have made considerable progress in establishing and expanding defence contacts and exchanges including across the our border”.
“They contribute to the maintenance of peace and tranquillity there, a perquisite to, for the further development of our relationship. On the boundary question my government is committed to expanding an early settlement”, she said.
Highlighting the importance of relationship with neighbour countries Swaraj said more importantly the relationship with key neighbours requires strong and broad based support from people of both the countries.
“It is only logical that therefore we have invested our energies in strengthening people to people contacts. During this visit I expect to that area to be forward in many ways”, she said.
Swaraj said she will be launching “2015: Visit India Year in China”.
“Tourism is an effective vehicle to promote people to people understanding and the two countries agreed that we need to make stronger efforts in that regard” she said adding that the cultural exchange initiative agreed during Xi’s visit is currently under way.
Swaraj said “a critical nature” of the bilateral ties is the growing economic ties.
“China today is our largest partner in trade and goods. The two countries are moving to invest in each other. Serious discussions enhancing connectivity has been initiated. On that foundation we are now seeking to take our economic cooperation to a qualitatively new level”, she added.
Swaraj said the “close developmental partnership” agreed during last September visit of Xi to India “symbolises that determination”.
“Another major thrust is in establishing industrial parts in to India that would contribute to Make in India campaign”, she said.
“China agreed to invest USD 20 billion in the parks. We will make it easier for Chinese companies to do business in India and expect that similar encouragement would be given to our companies to expand their business in China”, she added.
“As visit India year is celebrated this year followed visit China year, this is most appropriate opportunity to reinvigorate the Xuan Zang and Kumarajva spirit,” Swaraj said.