Hu tells Sonia that China attaches great importance to its ties with India

November 14th, 2007 - 2:54 am ICT by admin  
Interacting with Gandhi duriing a meeting in the Great Hall of the People here, Hu said:” You are the first foreign political leader to visit China after the conclusion of the 17th National Congress (on October 22), which is an indication of the importance both of us have attached to our relations.”

Hu also said that he still retained fresh memories of recent visit to India (November 2006) and the warm reception accorded to him by the Indian Government and the country’s people.

Gandhi arrived in China on Thursday, setting the stage for Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s visit to Beijing later this year or early next.

Hu and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao met her and held a banquet in her honour.

Gandhi’s trip to China comes nearly 20 years after she accompanied her late husband, then Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, on a historic trip to the country.

Congress party spokesman Abishek Singhvi said before her departure that Gandhi would focus on a “holistic range of issues” including ways to foster closer bilateral economic and cultural ties, and closer contacts between the ruling parties of both countries.

While both countries enjoy a good relationship now, prior to Rajiv Gandhi’s visit to China in December 1988, the neighbours distrusted each other, a mistrust dating back to the 1962 war.

These days, Beijing and New Delhi are talking cooperation, and are locked in competition as Asia’s two fastest growing economies. (ANI)

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