Dialogue to diplomacy, Chinese and Indian youths lead the way

By Shamim Zakaria Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/29 14:35:56

The closing dance Photo: Courtesy of China Plus


The guests at the China-India Youth Talks Photo: Courtesy of China Plus


The afternoon of Saturday echoed the voices of eight youth representatives - four each from India and China - as they gathered in Beijing to explore the question, "what can we learn from each other?"

Participating in the China-India Youth Talks 2019, they explored the future of fostering bilateral relationship through dialogues, spearheaded by the younger lot. From executives to researchers to start-up founders to journalists, the delegates were from the varied professional spectrum who came together to share their experience of residing in both these countries.

Though the discussion primarily centered on the key issue of economy and trade; however, the forum also traversed through various other topics pertaining to modern-day diplomacy and attempted to bust popular stereotypes that may exist among people on either sides of the border.

The forum began with a keynote address of the Chinese ambassador to India, Sun Weidong who sent his greetings and goodwill gestures via a video message from India expressing his happiness, and exhorted the significance of such an erudite platform. "I believe today's dialogue between the most vigorous groups of both the nations will bring out the best ideas to enhance mutual understanding and will further promote the friendship between the two great nations," said the ambassador.

He said that recent years have seen positive momentum in China-India relations and a new chapter of bilateral ties waits to dawn. "Next year will mark 70 years of India-China diplomatic relations, and we are willing to join hands with India to implement the consensus reached by our leaders and write a new chapter in China-India relations," added Ambassador Sun Weidong.

Delving on the current statute of both the nations in the global diplomacy one of the panelists Prasoon Sharma mentioned about three "P"s namely Position, Population, and Planet as essential to jointly consolidate on the position of both the countries in the global arena. "India and China should not only participate in global diplomacy but they should lead the global rulemaking in all relevant walks including terrorism, climate change, and the digital economy." The Pentland scholar at the New York University and University College of London added that both the countries having a big chunk of the population comes as an advantage. "Around 45-50 percent of the e-commerce users including 39-40 percent e-commerce sales will be generated from China and India by 2022, which reflects the magnitude of the impact these two countries have on the world," he said.

Speaking on the pressing topic, if India's economy can grow as big as China's, confronted by the people of both nations; Mao Keji, a research fellow at the International Cooperation Center for NDRC, said it's highly unlikely. "Statistically speaking it's hard for India to catch-up with China in the next 10-15 year's timeline," he added citing a 2017 statistic which states that China's economy is more than three to four times larger than that of India.

The vice president (CIB) of the Bank of China's Mumbai Branch, Lin Sheng who was also one of the delegates at the forum emphasized keeping up a positive momentum on strategic fronts. He further stressed on increasing the frequency of communication on concrete matters in the economic front, which could unleash a greater synergy.

Prasanna Shrivastava, Counsellor (political wing) at the Indian embassy in Beijing and Xu Qinduo, a political analyst and senior fellow at Pangoal institution were among the guest of honors at the forum. Delivering the concluding speech, the counselor of the Indian embassy in Beijing said, the theme of this discussion was very pertinent and timely as people to people connect and exchanging views is important to take bilateral relations forward.

The forum was organized by China Plus of China Media Group.

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