Pranab to visit China next week, to push ’strategic partnership’

May 29th, 2008 - 6:03 pm ICT by admin  

A file-photo of Manmohan Singh
Beijing, May 29 (DPA) Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee will visit China next week to push forward a strategic partnership agreement between the two nations, the Chinese foreign ministry said Thursday. Mukherjee will discuss the partnership proposal as well as “international and regional issues” with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and other leaders, foreign ministry spokesman Qin Gang told reporters.

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao signed a joint communique in January, promising to develop the strategic partnership.

Mukherjee will also travel to the southern city of Guangzhou for the opening of an Indian consulate, Yang said.

Mukherjee and Yang are also likely to discuss ongoing efforts, which date back 20 years, to resolve disputes between India and China over their 4,000-km Himalayan border.

The June 4-7 visit comes amid continuing protests in India by supporters of the exiled Dalai Lama, the Tibetan Buddhist leader, after China’s military crackdown on widespread unrest in Tibetan areas of the country since early March.

The Indian government has prevented Tibetans from marching to the border with China and given broad backing to China’s control of unrest and rioting in Tibetan areas.

Envoys of the Dalai Lama, who is based in the Indian town of Dharamsala, are scheduled to hold more talks with Chinese officials June 11 over the future of Tibetans in China.

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