Premier encourages youth participation in China-India cooperation

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R, front) shakes hands with members of an Indian youth delegation and Chinese youth representatives in Beijing, capital of China, May 15, 2013. Li Keqiang met with the Indian youth delegation and Chinese youth representatives in Beijing Wednesday. (Xinhua/Zhang Duo) 

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday encouraged young people in China and India to draw strength from the two countries' historical traditions and become participants as well as proponents of bilateral friendly cooperation.

Addressing an Indian youth delegation and Chinese youth representatives in Beijing, Li said he was delighted to meet with young people from India ahead of his upcoming visit to their country and asked the delegation to convey the sincere regards and good wishes of the government and people of China to the people of India, especially the country's young people.

In his speech delivered to the 100-member Indian youth delegation headed by Nita Chowdhury, secretary of the Ministry of Youth affairs and Sports of India, Li said China and India are important, close neighbors and have developed a natural partnership that has yielded fruitful results in all fields.

As two countries descended from ancient civilizations, China and India have created splendid cultures and enjoyed a traditional friendship. They are now both facing arduous tasks as well as opportunities in their development, Li noted, adding that the two countries have also voiced the same advocacy of peaceful coexistence and the multi-polarization of international relations,

He noted that the China-India relationship is important for Asia and the world, and it will directly affect the welfare of 2.5 billion people of the two nations.

In the 21st century, Asia is playing a greater role in the global economy and politics, he said, "and Asia has become an important engine for world economic growth."

"The linkage of the Chinese and Indian civilizations and their markets, the harmonious coexistence of the two countries, their mutual respect for each other's concerns and the proper management of their differences will bring tangible benefits to people in both countries and provide strong impetus for development and prosperity in Asia and the world," Li said.

Li suggested that ambitious young people in China and India need to take an in-depth view of the significance of the China-India relationship, draw wisdom and strength from the two countries' abundant historical traditions and positively participate in and actively promote bilateral friendly cooperation.

He pointed out that to turn this hope into a reality, the young people of both countries need to seize every opportunity to initiate exchanges, plant the seeds of friendship and further foster those seeds into a full-grown tree to serve as the bridge for China-India friendly cooperation, which benefits the people of both countries, especially young people.

Started in 2005, the mechanism for youth exchanges between China and India has seen seven exchange programs between the two countries' young people.

The 100-member Indian youth delegation is paying a visit to China at the invitation of the central committee of the China Communist Youth League.

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