President Patil ends visit to China

May 31st, 2010 - 3:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Pratibha Patil Shanghai, May 31 (ANI): President Pratibha Patil left China on Monday afternoon after a five day visit that officials said has given fresh impetus to Sino-Indian ties. Patil was given a ceremonial send off by Chinese authorities here. She is expected in the Indian Capital at around 5.30 p.m.

During her visit, the President discussed a range of bilateral, regional and global issues with the Chinese leadership that included President Hu Jintao, National People’s Congress Chairman Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao.

President Patil also sought China’s support for India’s bid for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council during her meeting with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and secured a promise from Beijing for support for India’s non-permanent seat bid in the UNSC.

Addressing a group of Indian and Chinese businessman, President Patil said both countries needed to develop models of economic cooperation which will take into account each other’s concerns.

She also visited the Shanghai World Expo where the Indian pavilion was a major draw.

President Patil was accompanied by a 60-member business delegation comprising members of all the three apex chambers of India.

Apart from Beijing, she also visited Luoyang in Henan province, where she dedicated an Indian-style Buddhist Temple to the Chinese.

The Temple has been built with the Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh as its inspiration.

The idea of the temple was proposed by the Chinese in 2003 when then Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee visited Luoyang.

He promptly accepted the idea, realizing the importance of a Buddhist shrine as a means for people-to-people contact.

The Indian style temple is adjacent to the White Horse Temple (Baima Si) built in the first century A.D. in honour of two Indian monks who travelled on horseback, carrying with them religious texts and an image of the Buddha.

Patil also visited the White Horse Temple.

The president’s visit comes at a time when China has become India’s largest trading partner. Bilateral trade between the two countries grew 34 percent in 2008 to touch 51.8 billion dollars though in 2009, it slipped to 43.27 billion dollars.

Businesses of both sides are seeking greater market access. The Chinese particularly want easier access to the Indian telecom equipment market - a matter over which India’s security establishment is uncomfortable with, for strategic reasons. (ANI)

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