Commentary: 7 decades on, China-India ties face ample chances for new development

BEIJING -- In the hard battle against the ravaging coronavirus epidemic, Beijing and New Delhi have offered each other staunch support and timely help.

This vividly reflects the two countries' growing partnership as they mark on Wednesday the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relationship.

Over the past seven decades, the dragon and the elephant have reached a growing consensus, that is, the only right choice for their bilateral ties is to dance together.

Such an expanding consensus is built on the ever deepening political mutual trust and increasingly frequent high-level exchanges between the two countries.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi have in the past two years held two informal meetings during their visits to each other's country, and sat down face to face many more times on the sidelines of such multilateral occasions as the BRICS summits and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) gatherings.

Practical cooperation between the two sides has also been making new strides.

China and India are key trading partners to each other. In 2019, bilateral trade reached more than 90.1 billion U.S. dollars, up by 1.6 percent year-on-year, according to China's General Administration of Customs.

The two sides have also seen robust exchanges and cooperation in hi-tech and cultural sectors. Chinese tech firm Xiaomi's Redmi smartphone series have topped India's sales ranking. Alibaba, a Chinese e-commerce company, offered technological know-how and financial support for India to develope its largest mobile payment platform Paytm. For their part, Indian films like "3 Idiots" and "Dangal" have made impressive box office takings in China.

As the two economies are highly complementary, China's development means ample growth opportunities for India, and vise versa. Thus, huge potential is waiting for both sides to tap in various areas such as finance, investment, manufacturing and infrastructure.

While promoting their mutually beneficial cooperation, it is also imperative for the two countries to implement the important consensus reached between Xi and Modi at their second informal meeting in the Indian city of Chennai to properly manage their differences on border issues and maintain peace and tranquility in the region.

China is now the world's second largest economy, and India has been one of the fastest growing emerging market economies. Their cooperation transcends bilateral dimensions and bears a regional and global significance.

At a time when the world is undergoing profound changes, China and India are obliged to shoulder increasingly important responsibilities in safeguarding global stability, promoting common development, and addressing global challenges such as pandemics, terrorism and climate change.

The two countries should also jointly oppose trade protectionism, and advocate multilateralism by bolstering international cooperation via such platforms as the Group of 20, BRICS and the SCO.

China and India are the only two countries in the world with more than 1 billion people each. As long as one third of the global population can join hands, they can yield more benefits for not only themselves but also the wider world. The ongoing epidemic fight offers a chance to do exactly that.

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