During his two-day visit to India, Chinese Foreign Minister, Wang Yi deliberated on several initiatives required for strengthening cultural ties between India and China with Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj
The meeting between Indian Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj and China’s State Counselor and Minister of Foreign Affairs, Wang Yi marked the initiation of stronger people-to-people and cultural relations between the two countries.
The leaders met in the Indian capital city of New Delhi where they participated in a two-hour discussion over cultural relations between India and China. As key players of development and growth in Asia, the two nations feel the need to enhance cooperation by strengthening cultural ties.
Indian minister Sushma Swaraj asserted that over the year, she had had many discussions with her Chinese counterpart, stating that “these discussions were held not only in India, China but in third countries also.” She further added, “Today was entirely different from the earlier meetings and the reason for that is that this meeting was focused on only two subjects.” The Indian minister highlighted, “One of the subjects was our cultural relations with China and the second subject was our people-to-people relations.”
In April, India’s Prime Minister, Narendra Modi met Chinese President, Xi Jinping at the India-China informal summit in Wahun, China. The two leaders trusted their Foreign Ministers to take forward the conversation on cultural relations, which was initiated during the informal summit.
Referring to the meeting, Sushma Swaraj stated, “they did not leave that mechanism to the officials, they entrusted this to their foreign ministers and named it, High-Level Meeting.”
A think tank forum, a joint media forum and a film festival were also organised around the High-Level Meeting in New Delhi. During his media address, Chinese Foreign Minister asserted that together, Indians and Chinese made one-third of the world’s population, and so, the relationship between India and China was likely to have an impact not just on the two countries, but the entire world. Both the Indian and Chinese minister emphasised the key role of the media for strengthening and spreading cultural unity.
Chinese minister Wang Yi further added that the tourist exchange between the two countries was quite low despite such large populations. He said, “Bit of us have several megacities, but we have not formed enough sister-city pairs.”
The Indian Foreign Minister later revealed the 10 pillars for cultural cooperation between India and China:
- Cultural exchange
- Cooperation in Film and Television
- Cooperation in museum management
- Cooperation in sports
- Cooperation in exchange of youth
- Cooperation in tourism
- Cooperation in exchange of people at the level of states and cities
- Cooperation in traditional medicine
- Cooperation in Yoga
- Cooperation in the field of education
In the end, the leaders stated that they were satisfied with the bilateral initiatives taken so far and were positive about the potential enhancement of bilateral relations in the coming year.