What`s New 2nd India-China Think Tanks Forum Beijing June 24, 2017: Remarks by H.E. Vijay Gokhale, Ambassador of India to China

2nd India-China Think Tanks Forum Beijing June 24, 2017: Remarks by H.E. Vijay Gokhale, Ambassador of India to China

2nd India-China Think Tanks Forum Beijing June 24, 2017: Remarks by H.E. Vijay Gokhale, Ambassador of India to China

2nd India-China Think Tanks Forum Beijing June 24, 2017

Remarks by H.E. Vijay Gokhale, Ambassadorof India to China

His ExcellencyMr. Wang Weiguang, President, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, His ExcellencyAmb. Nalin Surie, Director General, Indian Council for World Affairs, Distinguishedscholars from India and China, Ladies andGentlemen,

It gives me great pleasure to be present for today’s start of the 2ndIndia-China Think Tanks Forum.

The genesis of this platform lies in our shared belief in the need forgreater and more sustained dialogue among our scholars.

While we are neighbors and friends, dialogue among us has not quite keptpace with the fast paced developments of the last half-century. There have beengood attempts to have structured dialogue among our scholar and academiccommunity, but many in this room would agree that there is a need to furtherupscale and broad-base this interaction.

As our two nations grow rapidly and become the pillars of Asian, if notglobal, growth and stability, the need for better understanding each other’smotivations, concerns and strategic priorities grows even stronger.

Distinguished Delegates,

The 1st Think Tanks Forum hosted by India last year when President WangWeiguang led a Chinese delegation to India, was successful in kick-startingthis platform as a valuable addition in the bilateral space. I am confidentthat this year’s Forum hosted by the prestigious Chinese Academy of SocialSciences will further add to the utility of this platform and create bridgesamong our leading scholars.

I am confident that the very distinguished Indian delegation thatAmbassador Nalin Surie is leading, which not only includes formerrepresentatives of government, but also from the areas of economics,agriculture and science, will make meaningful contributions to the discussionsand also go back enriched by the perspectives shared by the distinguishedscholars that form part of the Chinese delegation. The visits to the southerneconomic powerhouses of Guangzhou and Shenzhen will, I am confident, provide auseful opportunity for Indian delegates to observe the rapid economictransformation of China and the lessons it holds for India.

Distinguished Delegates,

Few would doubt that the bilateral relationship between India and Chinais among the most important relationships in the world.

In modern times, while both of our countries remain engaged in resolvingsome issues left over from history, this has not prevented our rapidsocio-economic engagement and cooperation. The maturity to shelve differencesand cultivate cooperation is one of the hallmarks of our approach to manage bilateralrelations.

Both our countries have emerged as major powers of the 21st century; theanchors of an Asian century; the bulwarks of future stability. We partner eachother at several plurilateral venues. Most recently we are partners in the SCOand we thank China for their support for our membership. We have been important partners in themultilateral domain where our leadership roles have been central to the successof the multilateral agenda in the economic and environmental domain.

To sustain this deeply enmeshed relationship, sustained and in-depthdialogue is a pre-requisite, not only between governments but also betweencivil society in both countries.

We have seen that gaps in understanding due to lack of dialogue arequickly filled by innuendo. Yet, we have also seen in this very relationshipthat both sides have the wisdom and maturity to confront and solve problemswhenever we have engaged each other in honest dialogue.

This is what I think the Thank Tanks Forum should aim at.

It should foster regular, sustained and candid exchanges among ourscholars. Its inclusion of institutions on both sides and its coverage ofissues should remain broad, as a testimony to our expansive relationship thatis not restricted to any single issue.

We should in my opinion, seek to utilize this platform to break themould of our scholarly exchanges. Think out of the box.

I would encourage greater attention, for example, to the impressivegrowth of our economies and to areas like agriculture and science. I would liketo see more discussions on how to balance our trade, and encourage moreproductive investments in each other’s economies. On a lighter note I wouldencourage the scholars, for example, to think about the record-smashing successof the movie ‘Dangal’ or the growing interest in Yoga in China in the contextof people-to-people exchanges.

I am particularly pleased therefore that this edition of the Forum castsits net wide, covering known and expected topics such as StrategicCommunication as well as less obvious but equally important ones such asseeking common ground in manufacturing, trade, investment, agriculture,innovation and S&T.

Let me conclude by wishing the 2nd Think Tanks Forum allsuccess, and thanking President Wang and CASS for the hospitality extended toour delegation.

Thank you.