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China terms Vajpayee visit a success
Anil K Joseph in Beijing |
June 25, 2003 10:33 IST
Emphasising that it attaches great importance to Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit, the Chinese government has described it as 'successful' and 'significant to China-India relations'.
Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Kong Quan described the newly signed declaration on the principles for relations and comprehensive cooperation between China and India as 'positive, mutually-beneficial, balanced and a win-win situation'.
The declaration, signed by Chinese premier Wen Jiabao and Vajpayee on Monday evening, set out the goals and guiding principles for bilateral relations and outlined cooperation of the two countries in various fields.
The declaration means a great deal, not only in terms of the current development of the two nations, but also to their long-term development and to the stability, prosperity and development of South Asia, the spokesman said.
Vajpayee, who met with Chinese President and Communist Party General Secretary Hu Jintao, Chairman of the Central Military Commission Jiang Zemin, chairman of the National People's Congress Wu Bangguo, premier Wen Jiabao and Vice-President Zeng Qinghong separately, had 'positive and fruitful' talks with them, Chinese foreign ministry sources said.
The prime minister is believed to have firmly established a qualitatively new relationship with China's new leadership. The two two historic documents that he has signed are expected to help resolve all pending bilateral differences, including the vexed boundary issue.
Vajpayee, who arrived in Beijing on June 22 for a six-day official visit, the first by an Indian prime minister in a decade, on Wednesday left Beijing in a Chinese aircraft for Luoyang, a historic city in central China's Henan province famous for Buddhist relics.
Vajpayee would tour the Baima Si (White Horse Temple) in Luoyang. This is considered the first Buddhist monastery in China built in 64 AD during the reign of emperor Han Ming Di.
Built at imperial command to house the first two Buddhist monks from India, Kasyapa Matanga and Dharmaratna.
The two monks travelled to China to spread the word of the Buddha and brought with them Buddhist sutras and an image of the Buddha on white horses.
"A visit to the White Horse Temple by an Indian leader is considered a special and rare honour by contemporary Buddhist clergy, believers and sympathisers as also local officials," sources said.
Apart from the temple, Vajpayee would also tour the famed Longmen caves, regarded as the three most famous Buddhist art carving sites in China.
Running about one kilometre along the east and west banks of the Yi river, the densely dotted rock faces have numerous caves containing over 100,000 Buddhist sculptures, the earliest dating back to 493 AD.
Local officials said the caves were carved over several centuries, spanning at least four dynasties, including the culturally vibrant Tang dynasty, which produced the most impressive, and imposing carvings and images.
A statue of Lord Buddha in the Longmen caves rises over 17metres in height.
The last Indian prime minister to visit both the Buddhist sites was P V Narasimha Rao, who visited China in 1993.
Vajpayee is scheduled to arrive in the booming east Chinese metropolis of Shanghai later in the evening. Shanghai is China's largest city as well as its financial capital.
He is expected to address a top Information Technology seminar organised by Nasscom in Shanghai on Thursday.
The prime minister would also visit the Pudong Special Economic Zone to understand China's fast-paced economic growth and exports strength.
He would also meet with top communist party and the mayor of Shanghai before returning to India on Friday.
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