Sustainable development cooperation can serve as a catalyst for fostering enhanced relations between India and China

Dr Huang Dekai / Dr Yengkhom Ronica Devi *

Since assuming the presidency of G20, India has successfully organized over 200 meetings and events aimed at fostering cooperation in sustainable develop- ment sectors such as agriculture, climate change, environment, and health. Concurrently, India has made commendable efforts to implement the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

During the 78th United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) held in New York on September 22-23, the Reliance Foundation hosted a seminar titled "India's Journey to Achieve the SDGs" and launched an initiative called "Ideas, Innovation, Implementation: India's Journey Towards the SDGs". This initiative effectively showcases India's comprehensive developmental endeavors across all 17 SDGs. Similarly committed to poverty reduction, quality development promotion, and enhancing people's well-being aligned with UN Sustainable Development Goals is neighboring China.

The 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development was formulated in 2015, envisioning a collective road map for the future of all individuals and the planet. However, at present, with only seven years remaining until the deadline for achieving this agenda, we have already deviated from the correct path of development. Now more than ever, it is imperative that all Nations rise to the occasion and enhance global solidarity and international coope- ration for development if we are to reinvigorate efforts towards attaining the SDGs.

Sustainable development is not only a shared responsibility for China and India, but also an integral component of global governance. On 18 September, the United Nations General Assembly convened the High- Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HLPF).

The political declaration of the HLPF was adopted, pledging to expedite efforts towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and fostering economic prosperity and societal well-being while safeguarding the environment. Guterres emphasized that "The SDGs transcend mere objectives; they embody the aspirations, rights, dreams, and hopes of individuals worldwide."

China-India relations are intricate and multifaceted, with bilateral economic and trade ties strengthening on one hand, while both sides continue to compete in various domains. As significant global players, China-India relations exert a profound impact on the international community. It is imperative for both Nations to enhance constructive cooperation in pivotal areas and jointly tackle global challenges.

Collaborative efforts between India and China in sustainable development can provide fresh impetus to improving their bilateral relations while also addressing shared global challenges. Here are some specific areas and approaches through which China and India can collaborate on sustainable development

Renewable energy: China and India are one of the largest new energy markets in the world. The two countries can co-operate to develop renewable energy projects such as solar, wind and hydro energy, and work together to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and dependence on fossil fuels.

Environmental protection: China and India both face environmental issues such as air pollution and water resource management. Co-operation in the area of environmental protection can improve air and water quality and enhance the quality of life for residents.

Sustainable urban development: Both countries have experienced rapid urbanization. China and India can share best practices and jointly explore options for sustainable urban development, including in the areas of traffic management, waste disposal, and green infrastructure.

Agriculture and food security: Agricultural co-operation can help improve the production and quality of agricultural products and reduce food waste, while ensuring farmers' livelihoods and food security. This is critical for the large rural populations in both countries.

Ecological conservation and biodiversity: China and India are both rich in biodiversity, and co-operation to conserve wildlife and ecosystems can help maintain ecological balance and sustainable resource management.

Combating climate change : China and India can co-operate in international climate negotiations and jointly contribute to global efforts to mitigate climate change and move towards sustainable energy policies. Technology transfer: China and India can share advanced sustainable technologies and innovations to improve productivity and resource efficiency.

In these times of international challenges, global economic development, the fight against climate change and technological innovation have become the focus of the world. Global issues pose a threat to all countries and continue to wreak havoc around the world, and we must take swift measures to mitigate their catastrophic effects. At the same time, the continuing push for technological change is transforming industries, work forces and communities, creating both opportunities and challenges.

Overall, the China-India relationship is complex and multifaceted. China-India co-operation is beneficial to both sides and the world at large. The way the two interact has significant implications for the international community because of their importance on the international stage. China and India play a key role in addressing global and regional socioeconomic issues and are natural partners in adapting to and mitigating global problems.

Therefore, it is crucial to promote constructive cooperation between India and China in the area of sustainable development. At a time when the world landscape is evolving at an accelerated pace and global challenges are becoming more serious and complex, China and India should continue to work together to promote world peace, stability and economic prosperity.

Cooperation on sustainable development can help promote economic ties and trade between the two countries. Through cooperation on sustainable development, the two countries can cooperate more closely in the fields of energy, resources and agriculture, so as to achieve complementarity of advantages and promote economic development. In-depth exchanges and collaboration on topics such as environmental protection and climate change can be carried out to avoid conflicts or tensions arising from differences and disputes.

China and India will have more exchanges and interactions in the fields of culture, education and tourism to enhance mutual understanding and friendship. This will help deepen mutual understanding and friendship between the peoples of the two countries and promote harmonious coexistence among all ethnic groups. By continuously deepening co-operation, China and India can provide important support and leadership for the future development of Asia and the world.

Such cooperation is not only necessary for the two countries' own development, but also a positive contribution to global governance. Therefore, China and India should further strengthen their co-operation to jointly address global challenges and work towards creating a better world.

Sustainable development is the golden key to unlock a new round of shared globalization. Cooperation between China and India in the field of sustainable development is conducive to promoting the two countries to move from "burden sharing" to "opportunity sharing", and from "zero-sum game" to "mutual benefit and win-win".

It is also conducive to moving from "zero-sum game" to "mutual benefit and win-win situation", which will improve the relationship between the two countries and at the same time contribute to the global realization of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.

* Dr Huang Dekai / Dr Yengkhom Ronica Devi wrote this article for The Sangai Express
Dr Huang Dekai, Associate Professor,
Yibin Vocational and Technical College;
Dr Yengkhom Ronica Devi, Foreign Faculty
China India Yoga Institute,
Researcher Centre for China India People to People Studies Yunnan Minzu University
This article was webcasted on December 03 2023.

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