Wen Jiabao gets ceremonial welcome, says confident of expanding India-China ties

Posted By: Abdul Nisar
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New Delhi, Dec 16 (ANI): Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Thursday said that he had come here to expand bilateral strategic ties between China and India.

Wen Jiabao, who was given a ceremonial welcome by President Pratibha Patil and Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in the forecourt of the Rashtrapati Bhavan, said: "I have come to India to expand cooperation, deepen friendship and strengthen people to people exchange."

"I am confident that we will be able to reach strategic consensus," he added.

Wen Jiabao will meet Dr Singh at Hyderabad House where both leaders are likely to discuss all issues of concern, including, stapled visas, controversial Chinese investment in Pakistan- Occupied Kashmir, the boundary issue and the sharing of cross-border rivers.

The decision to activate a hotline between the leaders of the two countries is also likely to be announced. The two sides are also likely to set a new 60 billion-plus dollar bilateral trade target this year.

They will also discuss a host of global issues, including UN reforms, the global financial crisis, climate change and global terrorism.

On Wednesday, addressing industry leaders of the two countries, the Chinese premiere said: "China and India are partners for cooperation and not rivals in competition."

"There is enough space in the world for the development of both China and India and there are enough areas for us to cooperate," he added.

He said some people described China and India as economic competitors and likened them to a 'dragon' and an 'elephant.'

"I don't agree with such a view and I don't think business people agree either," Wen said. (ANI)

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