Statement by Consul General Ma Zhanwu at Press Briefing on 4 August 2017
On 10 August 2017, the Chinese Consulate in Kolkata, in cooperation with the Indian research institute called Asia in Global Affairs, and the Chinese think-tank Research Institute for the Indian Ocean Economies (RIIO), will hold a seminar regarding exchanges and cooperation between China and Eastern India. Specifically, the seminar is titled BRI, BCIM and the Role of Eastern India. It will mainly have 4 sessions, focusing on Connectivity and Integration in the New Epoch, BRI and Its Global Possibilities, the Potentials of the Synergy of China and India, and BCIM and the Sub-regional Cooperation respectively.
Over a dozen scholars from Delhi, Kolkata, Beijing, Shanghai, and Kunming will share their views during the sessions and conduct discussions on the above topics, and make recommendations towards the end of the one-day conference.
The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has won support and participation by over 100 countries and international organizations since it was first proposed 4 years ago. The UN General Assembly and the UN Security Council have both adopted resolutions that contained content on BRI. In May 2017, the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation was held in Beijing with considerable success.
BRI carries on the spirit of the ancient Silk Road that featured peace, cooperation, openness and inclusiveness, mutual learning and mutual benefit, and have provided the world with a new platform for cooperation and a new locomotive for development.
The content of BRI is what countries, including India, have long stood for, which includes policy coordination, facilities connectivity, unimpeded trade, financing integration, and people-to-people bond. The three principles for it are also widely supported, namely extensive consultations, joint development and shared benefit.
BCIM was proposed before BRI was made one of the key projects of BRI. Bangladesh, China, India and Myanmar have been studying the proposal for decades. In April 2017, delegations from the four nations met in Kolkata to exchange ideas on how to speed up the development of the economic corridor. And of course Eastern India especially Bengal and Kolkata, have a vital role to play in the future development of the corridor.
Both China and India are large developing countries and have seen major progress in their bilateral ties over the past few years. The shared interests of the two nations far outweigh their difference, and their ties would see great growth if they can handle their differences in an objective, rational and constructive way and work to enhance the strategic trust and their exchanges and cooperation.
China is committed to improving and developing its relations with India and pushing forward the bilateral ties. It is the hope of this Consulate that the above seminar will contribute to the friendly exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation between China and India, and Eastern India in particular.
Additionally, my Consulate is working with the Indian Chamber of Commerce to organize a business delegation that will travel to China in the coming weeks to explore business cooperation.
Chinese claim is supported with the historic documents and agreements signed way back in 1890. Even reference from Pandit Neheru and Chou En Lai was given.
But Indian statement is due on this.
Link to Chinese document for reference