India committed to advancing bilateral cooperation with China: Manmohan Singh

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Yekaterinburg (Russia), June 16 (ANI): India will give top priority to its relations with China and is committed to advancing bilateral cooperation in various fields on the basis of progress made in the past, said the Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, during his Monday night meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Singh said the two countries had forged the strategic and cooperative partnership during his tenure as prime minister and he was happy to note that bilateral ties between the two countries were deepening.

He expressed his appreciation for the increasingly important role China is playing in international affairs and China's important contributions to world peace and development.

He told Hu that India did not see China as a competitor and that there is enough room in the world for the two countries to achieve development.

The two countries share the desire to promote their bilateral ties and there are also potentials for them to cooperate on global and regional issues, he added.

Singh described economic cooperation as an important "pillar"of the overall bilateral relationship and said enhanced economic ties could give an impetus to the development of bilateral ties.

On military-to-military exchanges, Singh said that steady growth in exchanges between the armed forces of the two countries is to enhancing mutual trust and mutual understanding.

He also said that India and China share common interests on such issues as global trade and investment, climate change and the reform of the international financial order and should strengthen consultation and cooperation in addressing these issues.

On border issues, he said the Indian government is seeking a solution that should be fair, reasonable and acceptable to both sides. Before the issues are finally resolved, efforts should be made to ensure peace and tranquility along the border region, he said.

India recognizes the Tibet Autonomous Region as part of the territory of the People's Republic of China and will not allow anyone to carry out anti-China political activities in Indian territory, he said.

He said a healthy and stable bilateral relationship serves the interests of the two countries and also conforms to the interests of the region and the world at large.

President Hu Jintao said that Beijing has always striven, steadfastly and from a strategic and long-term perspective, to promote good neighborliness and friendly cooperation with India.

He said that the Chinese are ready to work with the Indians to maintain the sound momentum for development of the bilateral strategic and cooperative partnership, and make greater efforts to implement the "10 strategies" reached between the leaders of the two countries.

The aim was to enhance mutual political trust and reciprocal cooperation in various fields, take into consideration each other's concerns and core interests, and strengthen coordination and cooperation on major international and regional issues, the Xinhua news agency quoted Hu, as saying.

He noted that the two sides should focus on the following key areas in efforts to promote bilateral ties.

The first is to strengthen high-level contacts. In this regard, Indian President Pratibha Patil is to visit China in the latter half of the year.

Both China and India have agreed in principle to establish a hot line between the Chinese premier and the Indian prime minister.

The second is to deepen bilateral economic and trade cooperation of mutual benefit.

The two sides should continue to tap potentials, encourage two-way investments, expand cooperation in contracted projects, and strive to realize the target of 60 billion dollars in bilateral trade in the year 2010.

The third is to work together to respond to the impact of the international financial crisis. The Chinese side will strengthen communication and coordination with the Indian side, maintain close cooperation within the frameworks of BRIC, the five developing nations and the Group of 20, safeguard the common interests of the developing countries, and strive to contribute to economic recovery and development of Asia and the world at large.

The fourth is to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation, which is an important component of overall bilateral cooperation. The two sides should make concerted efforts to strengthen cooperation in this regard.

The fifth is to strengthen cultural exchanges. Both sides should make good planning and preparations for a series of activities, such as those marking the 60th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties and concerning The Chinese Festival in India and the Indian Festival in China. Both sides will continue to receive each other's delegations consisting of young people, officials, and people from news media and different localities, promote friendly exchanges in various fields and at various levels through visa facilitation and increasing direct air flights.

On border issues, Hu expressed the hope that the two sides would continue to advance the negotiating process in the spirit of peace and friendship, equal consultations, mutual respect and mutual accommodation so that the border issues could be properly resolved at an early date.

Both sides should do their utmost to ensure that the border issues do not undermine overall bilateral ties, he said.

Before these issues are eventually resolved, both sides should make joint efforts for maintaining peace and tranquility along the border region, he said.

With the efforts of both sides, Hu said, the Sino-Indian strategic and cooperative partnership will see sound development and the growth of bilateral relations will bring benefits to the two peoples.

Hu and Singh are here to attend the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) and the first meeting of BRIC, scheduled to be held in Russia's third largest city.

Indian is one of the four observers of the SCO, a regional organization now groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. The other three observers are Pakistan, Mongolia and Iran.

BRIC is an acronym for the four key emerging economies-Brazil, Russia, India and China. (ANI)

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