Patil lauds Premier Jiabao's constructive role in promoting Sino-Indian strategic ties

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Beijing, May 27 (ANI): Visiting Indian President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Thursday met Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at the Zhongnanhai, and used the occasion to laud China's constructive role in taking the strategic partnership with India forward.

The Zhongnanhai is a complex of buildings in Beijing adjacent to the Forbidden City which serves as the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China and the Central People's Government of the People's Republic of China.

The term Zhongnanhai is synonymous with the leadership and government administration of the nation, and is often used as a metonym for the Chinese leadership at large.

In the opening remarks before commencing her bilateral meeting with Jiabao, Patil said: "I am very much pleased to visit you in China and I thank you for the hospitality extended to me and my delegation. Excellent arrangements have been made for the visit and I thank you for that."

Referring to Premier Wen's last visit to India (April 2005), she said: "We cherish your visit to India and remember your constructive role in building a strategic partnership between the two countries."

Earlier, in his opening remarks, Premier Wen said: ""It is a great pleasure to welcome you in China. You are the first Indian President to visit China in this decade, and, it is of great significance. This will also constitute in streghthening of relationship between India and China in this 60th year of establishment of diplomatic relation between the two countries."

Referring to the India-style Buddhist temple in Loyang in central China, which President Patil will inaugurate during her trip, Wen described it as yet another effort by both countries to promote friendly relations.

While Patil was assisted by Minister of State for Food Processing Subodh Kant Sahay, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao and India's Ambassador to China, S. Jaishankar, the Chinese team included Premier Wen, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and senior officials.

Issues like the issuance of stapled visas to Kashmiris by China and Beijing's support for India's bid for a permanent seat in the UNSC are believed to have figured in the discussions. Other bilater issues of interest to the two countries were also reportedly discussed. Further details are expected during a briefing here by Indian officials this evening.

After her meeting with Premier Wen, the visiting President met with the Chairman of the National People"s Congress Wu Bangguo.

The visiting dignitary is scheduled to meet with her Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao in the Great Hall of The People in short while from now. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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