Indian PM’s Chinese tour to boost friendship: People’s Daily

February 28th, 2008 - 3:53 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
Beijing, Jan 11 (Xinhua) Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to China next week will boost friendship between the two neighbours and strengthen existing bilateral cooperation, said a signed article in the Chinese newspaper People’s Daily on Friday. Singh is scheduled to arrive here Sunday on a three-day visit, his first overseas trip in 2008 and his first China tour since he became prime minister in May 2004, the daily said.

The schedule shows that both China and India have attached great importance to their partnership of strategic cooperation, said the article.

Qin Gang, a spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said recently that China thinks highly of the visit and hopes it will promote the friendship between the two peoples and broaden the friendly and reciprocal cooperation so as to boost the long-term sound development of their partnership of strategic cooperation.

China and India are neighbours of great significance to each other. Both are emerging powers noted for rapid development. In recent years, China and India have continuously exchanged high-level visits and bilateral ties have kept a strong momentum for further development.

During a 2005 visit to India by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, the two countries announced establishment of a peace and prosperity-oriented strategic partnership.

In 2006, Chinese President Hu Jintao paid a visit to India, and the two sides issued a joint declaration that laid out a 10-point strategy for China-India cooperation, aimed at further deepening and consolidating their strategic and cooperative partnership.

Sonia Gandhi, president of India’s ruling Congress party and leader of the United Progressive Alliance, visited China last October, becoming the first foreign political leader received by China after the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China.

In 2007, leaders of the two countries held meetings on important international occasions, including the outreach session of the Group of Eight (G8) summit and the East Asia Summit, and had discussions on how to further deepen bilateral relations.

Singh has said his upcoming visit to China, aimed at continuing the friendly exchanges between the two countries, is bound to push forward the development of bilateral ties.

Strengthened cooperation in trade, defence and other spheres proved that the Sino-Indian relations have entered a fast lane of all-around development, the article said.

Bilateral trade amounted to 34.2 billion U.S. dollars from January to November in 2007, up 54 percent from the same period of 2006. Headways are also made in defence cooperation.

The two countries maintained close contact and coordination in regional and international affairs. Such mechanisms as the China-India strategic dialogue, the bilateral dialogue on anti-terrorism have provided an important channel for two-way communications.

The two neighbours also reached consensus over climate change and energy supply. Both governments have realized that the Strategic and Cooperative Partnership between China and India is in the interests of both countries and peoples, and is conducive to peace, stability and prosperity of Asia and the world.

Leaders from both sides have said that Sino-Indian relations have transcended the mere concept of bilateral ties to have international significance.

However, there are still border problems left over by history. The two countries will surely work out solutions that are practical and satisfactory for both sides so long as they cherish the values of peace, friendship, equality, consultation, mutual respect and understanding.

Delegates from both sides for settling the border issues have held three meetings in 2007. Currently the two countries have more consensus than differences as a result of efforts to boost mutual trust.

As two big developing nations in the world, China and India face many common development goals. The visit by the Indian prime minister will further enhance communications between the two nations and better coordinate their stances in regional and International affairs. It will also further consolidate the foundation of Sino-Indian friendly cooperation, the article stated.

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