India's Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in a meeting with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in New Delhi on Friday. Photo/ANI
India's Foreign Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in a meeting with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in New Delhi on Friday. Photo/ANI

People-to-People exchange should be of people and for people: Chinese Foreign Minister

ANI | Updated: Dec 21, 2018 17:46 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec 21(ANI): The People-to-people exchange between China and India should be of the people and for the people, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here on Friday.
"We agreed to leverage strengths in respective fields. People to people exchanges should be of the people and for the people. It is a major initiative in the history of India and China relations," he said.
Co-chairing the first-ever meeting of India-China High-Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges, Wang and Swaraj, said that as China and India cooperation embraces, the people-to-people exchanges must also step up.
"It will also help in understanding the people to people mutual understanding and friendship between the two countries," they said during the meeting which took place at Jawahar Bhawan here.
"Both China and India are celebrated civilisations. Enhanced people to people exchanges and cultural communications between China and India will serve as a driving force for the progress of the entire mankind," Wang said.
A statement from the Ministry of External Affairs said that the newly constituted India-China High-Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges has been established pursuant to the decision taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping of China, during their informal summit in Wuhan in April this year.
The mechanism underlines the important role of academic and scholarly exchanges in the people-to-people ties of both the neighbouring countries.
Prime Minister Modi and Chinese President Xi have attached great importance to media communication and encouraged the media of both China and India to make reports on friendship and cooperation in an effort to build a friendly public environment.
External Affairs Swaraj, on her behalf, said, "I'm satisfied with the quality of discussion today. Ten priorities we discussed include enhancing cooperation in films, education, tourism, art, yoga, media, culture, sports, academics and youth exchanges."
She further noted that there have been many meetings and dialogues between India and China in the past few years. "But today's meeting was unique and very different as it was based on only two subjects, including cultural relations between India and China, and people-to-people relation between both the Asian countries," she added.
The two leaders also reviewed the progress made by the two countries in various fields of people-to-people-exchanges. They had profound views on future cooperation and forged common understanding in various fields. Wang said that India and China have many megacities, but in this context, the number of our sister companies is still too small.
"We shall take an active part in people-to-people-exchanges under the framework of BRICS, East Asia Cooperation and Ancient Civilisation forums as an effort to serve a driving force in enhancing regional and global peace development, leading to greater synergies in our people to people ties," Wang noted.
The Chinese Foreign Minister who is on a four-day trip to India met President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan earlier in the day and discussed bilateral relations with him.
The official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar took to Twitter, saying, "Providing positive & productive direction to relations. State Councilor & Foreign Minister of China, Wang Yi called on #PresidentKovind @rashtrapatibhvn Discussed the shared vision of creating the mechanism to enhance people-to-people ties between #IndiaChina."
The Chinese Foreign Minister later in the day is scheduled to attend a gala event over the book launch, the launch of India-China Film Festival and other performances at the Pravasi Bharatiya Kendra in the national capital.
On Saturday (local time), the Foreign Minister of China will emplane to attend an event in Aurangabad in Maharashtra. On Sunday, he is scheduled to attend an event in Mumbai. The Foreign Minister would be leaving for China on Monday night.
Minutes before the arrival of Chinese Foreign Minister Yi to India, Tibetan activists put up a massive banner on the flyover outside the Terminal 3 of Indira Gandhi International Airport here, asking China to vacate Tibet.
The Foreign Minister of China along with his delegation landed in the national capital at around 1:30 am on Friday and passed through the route where the Tibetans were organising the protest. (ANI)