NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and China’s State Councillor and foreign minister Wang Yi co-chaired the first meeting of the first India-China High-level People-to-People and Cultural Exchanges Mechanism on Friday morning.
Addressing the media in the afternoon and inaugurating the 3rd India-China High-Level Media Forum at Jawaharlal Nehru Bhavan, both foreign ministers said that this particular part of the relationship, which was earlier just a footnote in the bilateral relationship, had assumed much greater importance following the meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping in Wuhan.
The fact that the meeting went on for much longer than planned showed how critical the subject was, Swaraj said.
In a congratulatory message from Beijing, President Xi said that the two ancient civilisations have made significant contributions to human development and progress, and that the relationship is today actively moving forward, “with mutual political trust deepening, practical cooperation accelerating, people-to-people and cultural exchanges flourishing, and bilateral coordination in international and regional affairs sustaining. It has been proved by practice that a good bilateral relationship benefits not only both countries but also the whole world.”