Build better Indo-China ties: Prez to Chinese youth

Patil expressed hope that both the countries can help establish the 21st century as the "Asian century".

New Delhi: It is time to create a better
understanding between the peoples of India and China and
youngsters of both these countries can make it happen,
President Pratibha Patil on Monday said here.

As a strong delegation of 500 youngsters from both
countries met her at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here, Patil
expressed hope that both the countries can help establish the
21st century as the "Asian century".

"I am of the view that now what is required, is to create
a better understanding between the people of our two countries
and this is where our youth can play a major role. The youth
of the two countries should travel to different places in
each other`s countries, understand each other`s culture and
traditions, share with each other their ideas and experiences,
identify areas of cooperation, and together act on these areas
to create such a synergy," Patil said.

The President also asked the Chinese youth to make "new
friends" in India.

"I encourage you to take the opportunity to make new
friends in India. You have the future responsibility of
further strengthening India-China relations, and I am sure
that you will carry out this responsibility with utmost care
and enthusiasm," she said.

Patil hoped that both the countries, through their
collaboration, can help establish the 21st century as the
"Asian century".

"The 21st Century is the Asian Century. India and China
as two major Asian countries will play a major role in the
realisation of this dream. The content, scope and depth of the
India-China relationship will to a large extent define the
Asian Century.

"Our two countries are undoubtedly playing an important
global role but the synergy emanating from our partnership can
make a huge difference in today`s world and how we look at the
future," Patil said while addressing the delegation who will
later visit other parts of the country.

The youth from China are here as part of an exchange
programme. A similar delegation from India had visited China
in September last year.

"Both our countries are millennia old civilisations, with
a very long history of interaction among our people from all
walks of life. In today`s contemporary world it is very
important that young minds from both countries familiarise
themselves with our shared history and our commonalities and
with our opportunities and challenges in this modern world.

"I compliment the vision of the leaders of both our
countries for emphasising the importance of youth exchanges,"
she said.

Patil also lauded the role of the youngsters of both the
countries for the success in the field of Information and
Technology (IT).

"China`s rapid economic growth over the last three
decades has been spectacular and riveting. It is now the
second largest economy in the world with a GDP of
approximately 6 trillion US Dollars. An important reason for
China`s success is that its youth are focused on improving
their living standards and are driven by the quest for a more
prosperous future," Patil said.

"In India, we have been able to maintain a high growth
rate despite the current global economic crisis. The
contribution of Indian youth is evident all around us. The
success of India in the Information Technology sector is
largely because of the dedicated efforts of Indian youth. Our
youth are excelling in their endeavours," she added.

While describing youth as the "future of the world",
Patil said both the countries have recognised the strength of
the overwhelming presence of youngsters in both India and

"It is a country which recognises the potential of the
youth that can bring about positive change not only to itself,
but also to the world.

"In India as well as in China, the youth comprise a large
proportion of the population. This demographic dividend has
contributed immensely to the efforts that our countries are
putting towards achieving developmental aspirations. I am of
the view, that the more that we do towards channelising the
energy of our youth, the faster would be our growth," she

Patil also recounted her state visit to China in May 2010
where she had "extensive and constructive discussions with the
leadership of China".

Sports Minister Ajay Maken and the Secretary of the
Chinese delegation Luo Mei were also present during the