The Consulate and ICFA Co-host a Webinar in Celebration of the 71st Founding Anniversary of PRC

On September 28th, the Chinese Consulate in Mumbai and the India-China Friendship Association (ICFA) jointly held a webinar celebrating the 71st anniversary of the founding of the People’s Republic of China and the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and India. Mr. Tang Guocai, Consul General of the People's Republic of China in Mumbai, Mr. G.H.Fernandes, President of the India-China Friendship Association, Mr. Sudheendra Kulkarni, Advisor to Former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, Mr. Chandrakant Salunkhe, President of SME Chamber of India, Mr. Ajit Ranade, Chief Economist of Aditya Birla Group, Mr. Rajarathnam Kannan, Chief Economist of Hinduja Group, Mr. Dhaval Desai, Acting Chairman of Observer Research Foundation (Mumbai), Mr. Kishor Jawade, General Secretary of Musicians Federation of India and CEO of the India-China Film Society, and over 100 Indian representatives from the political, business, cultural sectors and think tanks, as well as Mr. Zheng Bin, Chairman of the Mumbai Chinese Enterprises Association, and representatives of local Chinese enterprises and overseas Chinese, participated in the webinar. Deputy CG Wang Yanhua, Commercial Counsellor Liu Mingming and diplomats with the Consulate attended the event.

In his speech, Tang paid tribute to groups and people from all walks of life who have been committing to friendly exchanges between China and India. He also greeted the participants on the 71st anniversary of China's National Day, the 70th anniversary of the diplomatic ties between China and India, the Mid-Autumn Festival, and the birth anniversaries of Confucius and Mohandas Gandhi.

Tang pointed out that the coronavirus epidemic has accelerated the change of the world. Under this special background, China-India relations and local-level cooperation are facing four major opportunities and two challenges. First is the opportunity of China's peaceful development. China's development is not only economic success, but also the return of history and the revival of civilization. Second is the opportunity of the collective rise of India and other developing countries. The integration of East Asia, Southeast Asia, and South Asia are gradually strengthening, the BRICS countries are gaining momentum, and developing countries are on the rise. Third is the opportunity of multilateral cooperation to improve global governance. This year marks the 75th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations. The biggest consensus of the international community in the UN General Assembly this year is supporting multilateralism while opposing the law of the jungle. Fourth, people on the ground look forward to reform and development brings huge opportunities. The southwest coast of India and the southeast coast of China are both frontiers of the reform, opening up and development in the two countries. It is the people's aspiration to promote reforms and develop. However, influenced by colonial remnants and Cold War mentality from the Western, some countries tend to take more risky steps when handling diplomatic issues. Due to the lack of extensive and in-depth exchanges, there is clear deficit in mutual confidence and understanding between China and India.

Tang emphasized that since the founding of the People's Republic of China, the Communist Party of China and the Chinese Government have united the people of all ethnic groups and worked hard, winning tremendous development achievements. China is closer to the rest of world than at any time in history. The Chinese nation is moving towards rejuvenation along the path of peaceful development. President Xi Jinping pointed out in his recent speech at the UN General Assembly that China will never seek hegemony, expansion, or sphere of influence. China has no intention to fight either a Cold War or a hot war with any country, and will continue to narrow differences and resolve disputes with others through dialogue and negotiation. China's peaceful rise is a huge opportunity for the region and the world. The unprecedented epidemic has cast a shadow on the global economy and the life, while China has successfully controlled the epidemic and taken the lead in recovery, and is willing to help India and the region to maintain sustainable development. India must not miss this opportunity. China is already an important engine of the world economy and a stable stakeholder in the global industrial chain. With the size of India, only China can effectively carry and push India’s sustainable development.

       

Tang finally made the following four suggestions. First is to be more respectful of nature and be more aware of the hardship of people’s livelihood. China and India should do their utmost to implement the consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries, and in particular, promote practical cooperation in vaccine research and production. Second is to take parallel steps and share a common destiny. Both China and India are ancient civilizations whose traditional philosophies and ideas are integrated that the world belongs to one family, a community in harmony with a shared future. The more difficulties and misunderstandings we encounter, the more we must earnestly strengthen people-to-people communication and return to the original. Third, do not treat others what you do not want. There is no free lunch in the world. China and India are already brothers in difficulty, there is no reason to further complicate the situation we face. The fourth is to further open the mind and work for a win-win situation. Both sides should transcend the “China or India” mentality, think and act from the “China and India” perspective with a particular focus on development, and earnestly strengthen exchanges and cooperation in various fields for the benefit of the two countries and the world.

The other speakers elaborated on post-epidemic development, China-India economic relations and people-to-people exchanges, and interacted with the audience. They highly appreciated the significant achievements China has made in controlling the coronavirus and taking the lead in economic recovery. They emphasized that Indian sages such as Gandhi and Tagore have high expectations for China-India cooperation. The potential for bilateral relations and cooperation is huge. China and India have every reason to be good neighbors, good friends, and good partners. They shared the view that people-to-people friendship is the cornerstone of China-India relations, adding that no matter what difficulties and problems there are, communication, exchanges and cooperation in various fields between China and India should not be stopped. They believed that with the joint efforts of both sides, China and India can overcome difficulties towards a better tomorrow.

Artists from the Musicians Federation of India, well-known Bollywood singers, and teachers and students from the local Chinese language academies put on splendid cultural performances. The webinar lasted more than two hours with a sincere and friendly atmosphere. Xinhua News Agency and CCTV covered the event.

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