I particularly like the old Chinese saying--If you think in terms of a year, plant a seed; if you think in terms of ten years, plant trees; if you think in terms of 100 years, teach the people.
In India, too, the ancient saying is vyaye krate vardhate eva nityam, vidhya dhanam sarva dhan pradhanam.
The wealth that increases by giving. That wealth is knowledge and is supreme of all possessions.
This is one example of how our two nations are united in their timeless wisdom.
I began my journey in China in Xi'an. In doing so, I retraced the footsteps of the Chinese monk Xuanzang.He travelled to India from Xi'an in the seventh century in search of knowledge and returned to Xi'an as a friend and chronicler of India.
President Xi's visit in India last September started from Ahmedabad. It is not far from Vadnagar, my birthplace, but important, because it hosted Xuanzang and many pilgrims from China.The world's first large-scale educational exchange programme took place between India and China during the Tang Dynasty.
Records talk of about 80 Indian monks coming to China and nearly 150 Chinese monks returning after their education in India. And yes, this was in the 10th and 11th century.
Mumbai's rise as a port and a shipbuilding centre is because of cotton trade with China.And, those who love silk and textiles know that India's famous tanchoi sarees owe themselves to three brothers from my state of Gujarat who learnt the art of weaving from Chinese masters in the 19th century.And, in an unquestionable evidence of our ancient trade, silk in our classical Sanskrit language is called Cinapatta.
So, the centuries-old story of our relations has been of spiritualism, learning, art and trade.It is a picture of respect for each other's civilisation and of shared prosperity.It is reflected in the human values of Dr. Dwarkanath Kotnis, a doctor from India, who treated soldiers in China during the Second World War.
In many ways, our two countries reflect the same aspirations, similar challenges and the same opportunities.
We can be inspired by each other's successes.
And, in the global uncertainties of our times, we can reinforce each other's progress.
Perhaps, no other economy in the world offers such opportunities for the future as India's. And, few partnerships are as filled with promise as ours.
Today, we speak of Asia's resurgence. It is the result of the rise of many powers in the region at the same time.
It is an Asia of great promise, but also many uncertainties.
Asia's re-emergence is leading to a multi-polar world that we both welcome.
But, it is also an unpredictable and complex environment of shifting equations.
We can be more certain of a peaceful and stable future for Asia if India and China cooperate closely.
A resurgent Asia is seeking a bigger voice in global affairs. India and China seek a greater role in the world. It may be reforms in the United Nations Security Council or the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank.
But, Asia's voice will be stronger and our nation's role more influential, if India and China speak in one voice - for all of us and for each other.
Simply put, the prospects of the 21st century becoming the Asian century will depend in large measure on what India and China achieve individually and what we do together.
The rising fortunes of 2.5 billion pairs of joined hands will be of the greatest consequence for our region and the humanity.
This is the vision that I share with President Xi and Premier Li.
This is the impulse that is driving our relationship.
About 33% of the world's population is either Indian or Chinese. Yet, our people know very little of each other. We must seek inspiration from the pilgrims of the ancient times, who braved the unknown in search of knowledge, and enriched us both.
So, we have decided to extend electronic tourist visas to Chinese nationals. We are celebrating the “Year of India” in China in 2019.
We are launching the ‘Provincial and State Leaders Forum’ today. Later today, we will have the Yoga-Taichi event. It will represent the coming together of our two civilizations.
We are starting the Gandhi and India Study Centre in Fudan University and a college of Yoga in Kunming.
President Xi has spoken eloquently about the inter-connected dreams of China and India and the new type of relationship between major countries.
Not only are our dreams inter-connected, our future is also deeply inter- connected.
We are at a moment, when we have the opportunity to make our choices.
India and China are two proud civilizations and two great nations that will fulfill their destinies.
We each have the strength and the will to choose our own paths to success.
But, we have the ancient wisdom to know that our journey will be smoother and our future brighter, when we will walk together, confident of one another, and in step with each other.