President Patil sees great potential for growth in India-China relations

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On Board Special Aircraft from China to New Delhi, May 31 (ANI): President Pratibha Devisingh Patil on Monday said she was convinced that there was great potential for growth in India-China relations, following her meetings with the Chinese leadership during her five-day visit to the People's Republic of China.

During her on board interaction with the media persons during her return journey to New Delhi, President Patil informed that she stressed upon India's aspirations for a permanent seat in a reformed United Nations Security Council (UNSC) while an agreement and two memorandum of understandings (MoUs) were signed during her tour.

"I focused attention on India's aspirations for a permanent seat in a reformed United Nations Security Council. President Hu and Premier Wen were understanding and supportive of India's desire," said President Patil and added that "President Hu expressed China's support to India's candidature for a non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for 2011-12."

"One agreement and two MoUs between India and China were signed in Beijing in the presence of President Hu and myself," said President Patil while adding: "Each of them will aid the process of further enhancing bilateral ties."

She also informed that, in addition, an MoU was concluded between Indian Council of Cultural Relations (ICCR) and Fudan University.

"It should serve as an encouragement for greater contacts that we seek to build through student exhanges and inter-University contacts," President Patil stated.

President Patil also said that the objective of her visit was to increase trust, friendship, and understanding between the two countries.

Describing her interactions with the Chinese leaders as "warm, friendly, and cordial", President Patil said, "The discussions were wide-ranging and fruitful."

"We agreed to expand, deepen and diversify the Strategic and Cooperative Partnership between our countries. We acknowledged that the India-China relationship has gone beyond its purely bilateral aspect and has a global dimension," she said.

President Patil informed that during her discussions with the Chinese leadership she stressed there was enough space in the world for India and China to grow together.

"Naturally, we discussed how our two countries can cooperate with each other as we meet the developmental aspirations of our peoples. I highlighted our desire to work with China in meeting the bilateral trade target of 60 billion US dollars in 2010," she said.

"After my discussions in Beijing, I am confident that we can further increase and diversify our economic interaction with China in a balanced manner. The three business to business MoUs signed during the visit are examples in that regard," said President Patil and added: "We also agreed to increase our cooperation and coordination in multilateral economic forums including in the G-20 and the Doha Round of global trade negotiations."

President Patil said while highlighting the cultural contacts that existed over the millennia between the two ancient civilisations, she suggested: The Governments of our two countries must expand people-to-people contacts in the present day. We can do so through greater cultural exchanges, tourism, educational linkages, and scientific projects."

She said that in this regard the Indian-style Buddhist temple inaugurated at Luoyang had special significance.

"I hope the temple will encourage young people from our countries to step up contacts between us in the present age. The Tagore bust, I unveiled in Shanghai, should be an inspiration for joint activities, as we commence marking his 150th birth anniversary," President Patil said. By Praful Kumar Singh (ANI)

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