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Vajpayee confident of building powerful partnership with China
Anil K Joseph in Beijing |
June 21, 2003 19:14 IST
India and China can forge an enduring and powerful partnership while being sensitive to each others' concerns, Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who begins an official visit to the Communist nation on Sunday, said.
In an interview to China's official Xinhua news agency, Vajpayee said he hopes his discussions with the Chinese leadership in Beijing from Monday would lead to better understanding and trust between our two peoples, and impart further momentum to the broad-based bilateral cooperation.
"My visit to China is the first by an Indian prime minister in nearly a decade. In this period, our two countries have developed a wide canvas of mutually beneficial cooperation," he said ahead of his six-day official visit at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao.
"We have successfully developed mutually beneficial bilateral cooperation, while simultaneously addressing our differences," the prime minister said.
"Our dialogue now addresses not only the various areas in which we can improve bilateral cooperation, but also international issues such as terrorism, security, environment, sustainable development and multilateral economic regimes," he said.
Stating that the world has changed dramatically during these years, Vajpayee said as "two of the world's largest and most populous developing countries, India and China should remain in close touch on global issues of concern to developing countries."
The prime minister said that he also looks forward to the opportunity of witnessing for himself the rapid economic development China has achieved in the last two decades. "Your remarkable successes have many lessons for India,"
he told the Xinhua correspondents.
Commenting on Sino-Indian relations, he said: "In recent years, our two countries have launched a process of diversification of bilateral relations. Our trade relations are developing in a healthy manner."
On the economic ties between the two countries, Vajpayee said: "India and China are among the world's fastest growing economies. The basic structure of our economies is not dissimilar, though we have chosen different paths towards development. We have complementarities created by our technological development and human resources skills.
"Our trade is growing rapidly. It nearly touched $ 5 billion last year and, at the rate at which it is growing, can easily reach $ 10 billion in the next couple of years," he said.
The prime minister said Indian companies are showing interest in investing in China and about 70 Indian companies have entered China, with an investment total of about $ 65 million. "I understand more projects are on the anvil. We would equally like to see Chinese companies investing in India," he said.
He also indicated that during his visit he would discuss with the Chinese leadership proactive measures to identify and exploit new opportunities for economic and technological cooperation.
PM's China Visit: The Complete Coverage