'China and India are neighbors, partners and friends. Today over 1,000 Chinese companies are doing business in India, with a cumulative investment of 8 billion US dollars, which has created 200,000 local jobs. More than two-thirds of Indian companies investing in China are making handsome profits, 40 percent of them would like to increase their investment in China this year,' said the Chinese ambassador to India Sun Weidong. At a reception hosted by the embassy in New Delhi he stressed that China-India relations have extended beyond bilateral dimensions and are significant in maintaining regional and global peace, prosperity and development.
Cautioning on trade wars that are effecting world economies he said, 'We resolutely oppose provoking trade frictions, openly interfering in China's internal affairs and undermining our interests, and we will firmly defend our legitimate interests. We are willing to properly handle differences on the basis of mutual respect and resolve issues through dialogue and negotiation.'
Sun Weidong who is an Asia expert and has come to India on his second stint, the first one as Councillor from 2005-08 in the Chinese embassy in India, struck similarities between Indian and Chinese society. Revealing admiration for Bollywood films he said, 'Recently, I watched an Indian movie called Hindi Medium. It is about a young Indian couple, who tried desperately to get a better education for their daughter. Such feelings of parents are not only seen in India, but also in Chinese families,'' said Sun.
The box office of Indian films is twice as much in China as in India. The Indian pavilion at the Beijing International Horticultural Expo has attracted millions of Chinese visitors. With the long history, large population and economic volume of the two countries, China-India cooperation enjoys vast potential for development, he informed the mixed audience of Heads of Missions, media, Chinese guests, business representatives and others present.
Reminding of common history and future goals that China and India share Sun said, 'As the only two large developing countries with over one billion population, China and India have so many similarities than any other country in the world. We had splendid ancient civilizations, suffered from colonial and imperial aggression, achieved national liberation and independence almost at the same time, and jointly advocated the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence. At present, both of us face the common task of growing the economy and improving people's livelihoods. China is striving for its "two centenary goals", and India is working towards the goal of building a "new India". China and India should learn from and help each other to realize win-win cooperation and common development.'
Calling Wuhan Summit and the following meetings between Prime Minsiter Modi and President Xi Jinping in Ahmedabad as 'hometown diplomacy,' Sun emphasised the importance of China India partnership. 'If China and India speak in one voice, the whole world will listen. We both advocate world multi-polarity, economic globalization, trade liberalization and oppose unilateralism and protectionism. We can closely coordinate under the framework of BRICS, G20 and SCO, to jointly tackle global challenges and to promote a fair and just global governance order. China and India both uphold the concepts of "Great Harmony" and "The World as One Family".
Interestingly having been China's envoy to Pakistan (2013-17) and Malaysia, Sun surely understands the diplomactic nuances of India and its neighbourhood. 'For neighbors and major countries, differences are hard to avoid. The key is to properly handle them. We should put issues in the bigger picture, reduce differences through consultation, settle disputes through dialogue, promote peace through development, and enhance mutual trust through cooperation,' he said'
'Over the past 7 decades, China has successfully embarked on a path of socialism with Chinese characteristics, and made great strides from standing up and growing wealthy to becoming stronger. In 2018, the retail sales of consumer goods in China totaled 5.76 trillion US dollars, making it the second largest consumer market in the world.'
The changing world order with US pushing for protectionism, China is opening wider to the outside world. Sun infored that China has recently announced the establishment of six new pilot free trade zones, bringing the total number to 18. 'All countries in the world will benefit from China's greater opening-up,' he said.
Hong Kong that is witnessing huge protests on the issue of Extradition laws is being watched by the world. Clearifying China's stand Ambassador Sun Weidong on Hong Kong said, 'Some external forces meddled in China's internal affairs, deliberately calling violent crimes as peaceful protest. This is an outright "double standard". Hong Kong affairs are purely China's internal affairs. There is no sovereign issue over Hong Kong at all. We would never allow any external forces to interfere in Hong Kong affairs. Be it in the past, present or future, China has all the ability, confidence and resilience to overcome any risk and challenge.'