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May 13, 2004

China today expressed confidence that its ties with India will continue to develop further under a new government in Delhi.

 "No matter who takes office, I hope China-India relations will continue to enjoy further development," Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said when asked to comment on the implications of the electoral defeat of the BJP-led NDA government of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The relations between the two countries witnessed an upswing after the landmark visit to China  by Vajpayee in June last year. As part of confidence building measures, China recently stopped showing Sikkim as an "independent country" in its official maps and presented it as a part of India.

"The elections in India is an internal affair of the Indian people. I will not comment on that," Liu told PTI here. "However, I know that the Indian government and Indian people and the Chinese government and people share the common spirit for furthering the relations between our two great countries -- India and China," he said. 

Analysts here firmly believe that there is "consensus" in both countries that the political scenario in either country should not affect the deepening of bilateral ties.

A "stable" Sino-India relationship was not only beneficial for the people of the two countries but also important for regional as well as world peace and development, Deputy Director of the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies under the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), Professor Sun Shihai, said.

Since Vajpayee's visit, Sino-India relations have witnessed constant improvement and development and frequent exchange of high-level visits, including those by senior defence officials, analysts noted.

The signing of the first-ever joint declaration that contains principles to guide bilateral ties in the 21st century and the appointment of special  representatives to find an early and amicable solution to the vexed boundary issue, including the Sikkim question, were important milestones in Sino-India relations, they added.


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