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Hu looking forward to building strategic ties with India

By Super
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New Delhi, Nov 21: Chinese President Hu Jintao today said he looked forward to deepening bilateral relations and further developing strategic partnership with India.

''The purpose of my visit is to extend friendly ties, increase mutual trust, expand cooperation and chart a course for the future,'' President Hu told mediapersons after being accorded a ceremonial reception at the forecourt of Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Recalling his last visit to India 22 years ago, President Hu said he had lasting memories of that trip. ''Its a great pleasure to come back,'' the Chinese President, who is accompanied by his wife Liu Yongqing, said and pointed to the success India had achieved in development. ''India is a great country with great people,'' he said and conveyed the good wishes of his people to the ''hard working people of India''.

President Hu, who is on a three-day state visit to India on the invitation of President A P J Abdul Kalam, received the guard of honour with an 18 gun salute on a breezy sunny morning.

He later shook hands with Dr Kalam and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh for the press photographers.

Among those present on the occasion were External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee, Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal, Naval Chief Adm Sureesh Mehta and National Security Advisor M K Narayanan.

UNI

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