New Delhi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh
on Thursday said India and China will march together as friends and
not as rivals in the 21st century, describing it as a century
that belongs to Asia.
Addressing a high-profile gathering of people from
India and China at the celebrations to mark 60 years of
establishment of diplomatic ties between the two Asian giants,
Singh also said there is enough space in the world for both
India and China to grow and fulfil development aspirations of
their respective people.
"In the development of this century, India and China
will march together as friends, not as rivals," Singh said to
thunderous appaluse from the 3,000-odd audience.
Expressing satisfaction over his talks with his
Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao today, Singh also appreciated
his "personal role" in advocating the need for strengthening
the strategic partnership between the two countries.
"This has laid the ground work for the future India-
China relations," Singh said, adding that India-China
cooperation will be the keystone of the "Asian century that is
unfolding before us."
He said India and China have played a crucial role in
increasing awareness about each other`s cultures and
civilisation. India and China are two great civilisations that
have flourished for thousands of years.
He said both countries should work towards bridging
the "information gap" between the two nations and learn about
each other`s achievement on their own rather than through
"Universally, it has been acknowledged that 21st
century is Asian century," he said.
The two Prime Ministers also praised each other for
their role in Sino-India ties with Wen calling for
"heart-to-heart" exchanges between the two emerging economies.
While Singh called Wen "a very dear friend of mine",
the Chinese Premier said his Indian counterpart was his "old
Wen said: "Heart-to-heart exchanges between the two
countries will help in further boosting the ties between China
"The outcome of my visit has been successful. We can
say that an Asian century has arrived," he said.
"We must close the information gap between the two
countries and know about each country`s development on our own
rather than through third countries," Singh said.
Wen said in future the two countries should carry
forward their work in the crucial stage of development and
needed to press for a just and equitable international
political and economic order.
The two countries should increase their cooperation in
various fields and have made greater contributions to the
building of a harmonious world of enduring peace.
He said the two countries have decided to observe 2011
as the year of exchanges and will hold exchanges in the field
of media, culture and others on a larger scale.
The Chinese Premier said, "Hospitable Chinese people
will receive you with open arms." He said the festivities
organised by the two countries have achieved "full success"
and wished all Indians a very happy new year.
Singh, on his part, hoped that the new year will bring
joy and happiness to Chinese people and will serve as an
ocassion for further advancement of friendly relations between
India and China.