On his maiden visit to India, Chinese PM Li turns poet

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New Delhi, May 20: Visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang today described the consensus reached on various issues between China and India as "a big stride forward" and called for conducting dialogue in a "mature and sensible way".

It was fair to say that the two sides had "arrived at multiple, significant outcomes",

Li said in his statement to the media alongside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Stating that he looked forward to Manmohan Singh's visit later this year, Li turned poet of sorts to say that seeds sowed in spring should be harvested in autumn.

Addressing the media alongside Manmohan Singh, he said the Indian leader's visit would "harvest the fruits of cooperation between China and India".

"We hope that the seeds we sowed today in spring will be harvested in autumn," Li said.

Both countries had "the wisdom to resolve these issues and overcome the differences", he added.

The Chinese premier, who made India his first stop on his first overseas trip after taking office, said he and  Manmohan Singh believe that the two countries had "far more shared interests" than differences.

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Stressing that both countries should learn from their respective past experiences, Li said there was a need to conduct dialogue on issues in "a mature and sensible way", and called for maintaining "peace and tranquility in the border areas".

He said the strategic consensus they had arrived at had laid the foundation that would help "seize the opportunity to modernise the two large developing countries".

He spoke of accommodating the "growth aspiration of both China and India". Without the development of both these countries, Li added, "Asia will not become strong and the world will not become a better place".

"By conducting effective and sincere dialogue...we believe that by arriving at this consensus we have made a big stride forward…"

The visiting premier said the two countries had worked to "maintain tranquillity and peace in the border areas".

Describing the border question as one "left over by history", he said both sides believed that "we need to improve border mechanisms... make them more efficient" as well as "appropriately manage and resolve our differences".

Discussing the issue of river waters, he said China had in recent years shared "hydrologial information" with India.

The important outcome of his visit was that the two leaders had reached "strategic consensus". China and India had a "combined population that exceed one third of humanity".

Their "amicable relationship", he said, was the new engine for the world economy.

"Since we are strategic partners and good friends, we can speak with candour," he said, adding that they did not deny there were problems.

IANS

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