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China non-committal on backing India for UNSC
April 12, 2005 12:13 IST
Last Updated: April 12, 2005 18:10 IST
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday rounded off his four-day visit to India saying it produced 'rich results'.
He was, however, non-committal on India's claim for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, just saying his country supported India's aspirations to play a 'bigger role' in the world body.
Describing the visit as 'historic', Wen told a group of senior journalists before leaving for home that the bilateral relationship had been taken to a 'new level' following his discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other Indian leaders.
He shared his Indian counterpart's view that history has been made during the visit.
He answered a wide range of questions with considerable humour during the 45-minute interaction.
Asked about India's candidature for permanent membership of the Security Council, Wen broadly stuck to the formulation used in the Joint Statement he had signed with Singh on Monday.
"China reiterates that we attach great importance to the important role of India in international affairs. India is a very populous country and is also a very important developing country. We fully understand and support Indian aspirations to play an even bigger role in international affairs, including in the UN," he said.
Wen, who had come to New Delhi after a visit to Islamabad, said his country's cooperation with Pakistan in the nuclear field will not affect China's relation with India.
Sino-Pakistan cooperation is for peaceful purposes and it is in complete compliance with the Non-Proliferation Treaty and the safeguards prescribed by the International Atomic Energy Agency, he said.
The Chinese leader also made it clear that the Sikkim issue is no longer an irritant in bilateral ties.ª
Three 'major results' had emerged from his visit, he said.
One was the Joint Statement under which the two sides agreed to establish an India-China strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity. "So, we have taken the relations to a new level."
Secondly, the two sides had signed the very first political document outlining guiding principles for settlement of the boundary question. "This is a sign that we have brought our boundary negotiations to a new stage," he said.
Thirdly, the two sides had agreed on a five-year plan for comprehensive cooperation in economy and trade, he said.
Wen said the two countries had agreed to make joint efforts to increase bilateral trade volume to $ 20 billion by 2008 and to $ 30 billion by 2010.
On border trade through the Nathula Pass between Tibet and Sikkim, he said China was planning and developing the market on its side.
"We hope the two sides will make earnest efforts at an early date to further develop border trade cooperation and this will certainly serve the interests of the people living in the borders," he said.
China has taken a host of measures to maintain stability in border areas, including measures to eventually help resolve the boundary dispute.
China, Jiabao said, has also taken measures to maintain tranquility in the border.
"As long as we have sincerity and patience and as long as we persevere in this effort, we will be able to build the India-China boundary into a bond of peace and friendship," he said.
On the emerging trilateral cooperation between India, China and Russia, the Chinese premier said this should not be construed as an alliance targeting any other country.
'China will be happy to have India at UNSC'