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Wang Yi: A Series of Important Consensuses Have Been Reached at the First Meeting of China-India High-level People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges Mechanism
2018/12/22

In the afternoon of December 21, 2018 local time, when attending the opening ceremony of the China-India High Level Media Forum, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi expressed to the Chinese and Indian media, this morning, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and I co-chaired the first meeting of China-India High-level People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges Mechanism, and it has been a complete success. This mechanism comes from an important consensus reached by President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi and demonstrated the great importance and high expectation attached by leaders of the two countries to China-India people-to-people and cultural exchanges. At today's meeting, we reviewed the progress of China-India people-to-people and cultural exchanges, exchanged views on exchanges and cooperation in the next stage, and reached important consensus.

First, both sides agreed that China-India people-to-people and cultural exchanges benefit both countries and also the whole world. Carrying out people-to-people and cultural exchanges is conducive to consolidating the social foundation of China-India friendship, promoting the healthy development of China-India relations, boosting the prosperity and revitalization of the two countries and exploring new paths for the harmonious coexistence and common development of different civilizations.

Second, both sides agreed that it is the time now for strengthening people-to-people and cultural exchanges and a lot can be done in this regard. The important consensus reached by the leaders of the two countries has set the fundamental direction for us. The time-honored civilization exchanges between China and India have provided us with sufficient nutrients, and the rapid development of the two countries and bilateral relations has accumulated rich resources for us. We need to make full use of these favorable conditions to promote greater development of people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and India.

Third, the two sides agreed that we could give full play to our respective advantages to carry out exchange activities. The two sides agreed to set eight sectors as priorities for the next-phase cooperation, including cultural exchanges and protection of historical relics, educational cooperation and language teaching, tourism cooperation and people-to-people contacts, youth exchanges and sports exchanges, media exchanges and public opinion environment, academic exchanges and co-production of films. The counterpart departments of the two countries will make sound and specific plans and carry out colorful exchange activities to this end.

Fourth, both sides agreed to create a series of signature programs of people-to-people and cultural exchanges, while continuing the good work in regular programs such as the China-India Think-Tanks Forum, the China-India Forum, pilgrimages, education cooperation, youth exchange programs, museum exchange programs, the China-India High Level Media Forum and the China-India joint medical team. Meanwhile, both sides need to build a new brand for the exchanges and expand the fields of exchanges to boost the popularity and influence of China-India people-to-people and cultural exchanges.

Fifth, both sides agreed that people-to-people and cultural exchanges should be "from the people and to the people". We need to actively build a new framework for people-to-people and cultural exchanges, with multiple players from both the government and non-government sectors, and oriented towards all members of society. We need to push for more accessible and popular exchange activities so as to truly benefit the people of the two countries and attract more people to the great cause of China-India friendly exchanges.

Sixth, both sides agreed to actively participate in people-to-people and cultural exchanges in such multilateral mechanisms as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS, East Asia cooperation, and Ancient Civilizations Forum, in a bid to make positive contributions to promoting peace and development of the region and the world.

Wang Yi pointed out that the establishment of the China-India high level people-to-people and cultural exchanges mechanism is an important milestone in the history of China-India relations. The first meeting of the mechanism today made a good start and was a complete success. With the care and guidance of leaders of the two countries and the joint efforts of the two sides, China-India people-to-people and cultural exchanges will surely ride the tide and usher in a new era of great development, thus forming a great situation of exchanges for the 2.7 billion people of the two countries.

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