India, China review ties, climate change positions at bilateral meet (Lead: India-China)

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Copenhagen (Denmark), Dec.19 (ANI): Talks between the Prime Ministers of India and China - Dr. Manmohan Singh and Wen Jiabao on Friday at the Radisson Blu Hotel here focused on the joint stand taken by the two countries on climate change-linked issues and how to take strategic bilateral relations forward to realize the goal of making the 21st century the Asian century.

Briefing Indian and international media about the deliberations, Indian Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said Premier Wen Jiabao and Dr. Manmohan Singh agreed and stressed on the importance of not altering "in anyway the principles of common, but differentiated responsibilities (on climate change), and re-emphasized that developed countries had certain obligations that they must fulfill.

She further went on to say that both leaders had agreed that without unity and cooperation, without continuous consultations, the success of the Copenhagen climate meeting could not be assured. They agreed that such cooperation was essential and crucial to the deliberations, Rao added.

Revealing that there was a brief discussion on bilateral ties, Rao said both leaders emphasized on its importance and resolved to continue cooperation on all issues, including those on which they had differences.

Rao said during the delegation level meeting, Premier Wen dwelled on the US-China Joint Statement issued after US President Barack Obama's visit to China, and he said that the portion of the statement relating to South Asia was not directed or targeted at India.

She quoted the Chinese Premier as saying that China respects India and would like to pursue relations with India on the basis of equality, and did not have any intention of interfering in the affairs of India or the South Asian region. He called for solidarity and prosperity in ties.

The foreign secretary said that Dr. Singh also reiterated the importance of the Sino-Indian relationship, and said that New Delhi would do everything possible to maintain and encourage these ties with Beijing in the years to come. Both also decided that pending resolution of outstanding issues, both countries should maintain peace and tranquility on the border areas.

She said that the Indian Prime Minister also appreciated the explanation given by Premier Jiabao on the US-China Joint Statement. He also agreed that without sustained development of India and China in the 21st century, that century could not be declared the Asian century.

"Our relationship is a powerful factor in promoting prosperity not only in Asia, but also the world as a whole," said Rao.

The foreign secretary also revealed that the Prime Minister said that he was very happy with the good level of cooperation at the COP-15 climate meeting between India and China, and that there was a need for both countries to work continuously in this direction and to consult continuously in dealing with challenges of climate change comprehensively.By Ashok Dixit (ANI)

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