Build better ties between India-China: Prez

New Delhi: It is time to create a better understanding between the peoples of India and China and youngsters of both these countries can make it happen, President Pratibha Patil today said here.

As a strong delegation of 500 youngsters from both countries met her at the Rashtrapati Bhavan here, Patil expressed hope that both the countries can help establish the 21st century as the "Asian century".

"I am of the view that now what is required, is to create a better understanding between the people of our two countries and this is where our youth can play a major role. The youth of the two countries should travel to different places in each other`s countries, understand each other`s culture and traditions, share with each other their ideas and experiences, identify areas of cooperation, and together act on these areas to create such a synergy," Patil said.

The President also asked the Chinese youth to make "new friends" in India.
"I encourage you to take the opportunity to make new friends in India. You have the future responsibility of further strengthening India-China relations, and I am sure that you will carry out this responsibility with utmost care and enthusiasm," she said.

Patil hoped that both the countries, through their collaboration, can help establish the 21st century as the "Asian century". "The 21st Century is the Asian Century. India and China as two major Asian countries will play a major role in the realisation of this dream. The content, scope and depth of the India-China relationship will to a large extent define the Asian Century."

"Our two countries are undoubtedly playing an important global role but the synergy emanating from our partnership can make a huge difference in today`s world and how we look at the future," Patil said while addressing the delegation who will later visit other parts of the country.

The youth from China are here as part of an exchange programme. A similar delegation from India had visited China in September last year.

"Both our countries are millennia old civilisations, with a very long history of interaction among our people from all walks of life. In today`s contemporary world it is very important that young minds from both countries familiarise themselves with our shared history and our commonalities and with our opportunities and challenges in this modern world. I compliment the vision of the leaders of both our countries for emphasising the importance of youth exchanges," she said.

Patil also lauded the role of the youngsters of both the countries for the success in the field of Information and Technology (IT). "China`s rapid economic growth over the last three decades has been spectacular and riveting. It is now the second largest economy in the world with a GDP of approximately 6 trillion US Dollars. An important reason for China`s success is that its youth are focused on improving their living standards and are driven by the quest for a more prosperous future," Patil said.

"In India, we have been able to maintain a high growth rate despite the current global economic crisis. The contribution of Indian youth is evident all around us. The success of India in the Information Technology sector is largely because of the dedicated efforts of Indian youth. Our youth are excelling in their endeavours," she added.

While describing youth as the "future of the world", Patil said both the countries have recognised the strength of the overwhelming presence of youngsters in both India and China.

"It is a country which recognises the potential of the youth that can bring about positive change not only to itself, but also to the world. In India as well as in China, the youth comprise a large proportion of the population. This demographic dividend has contributed immensely to the efforts that our countries are putting towards achieving developmental aspirations. I am of the view, that the more that we do towards channelising the energy of our youth, the faster would be our growth," she said.

Patil also recounted her state visit to China in May 2010 where she had "extensive and constructive discussions with the leadership of China". Sports Minister Ajay Maken and the Secretary of the Chinese delegation Luo Mei were also present during the meeting.