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Li's successful India visit to boost bilateral ties: China

May 21, 2013 16:52 IST

China on Tuesday said Li Keqiang's visit to India would give a strong boost to bilateral strategic cooperative partnership even as the premier himself termed his trip as "successful" and "felt at home" during talks with his counterpart Manmohan Singh.

"India and China decided enhance co-operation and coordination to international and regional affairs," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a media briefing in Beijing when asked how China viewed Li's current visit to India.

"He had a successful visit. We believe this visit will give a strong boost to China-India strategic and cooperative partnership of peace and prosperity," Hong said.

"The two sides agreed that they should seize the current opportunity to strengthen political mutual trust, push forward practical cooperation, enhance border and defence co-operation and mutual trust as well as people to people exchanges."

Buoyed by the positive vibes generated by his visit, Li, 57, himself termed the trip "successful".

"A successful start is halfway to final success," state-run China Daily quoted him as saying about the first leg of his nine-day foreign trip to India, Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany.

Describing his talks with Prime Minister Singh as "deep, friendly and frank", Li said, "It made me feel like I was at home. I really appreciate his (Singh's) arrangements," the paper quoted Li as saying about his maiden official visit, 27 years after he toured the country as a youth leader.

"The Indian officials confided to their Chinese counterparts that they are fascinated by Li's sincerity, pragmatism and humour," it said.

"Despite China and India's arguments about territory issues and trade imbalances, Premier Li Keqiang's stop in India during his first overseas trip since he took the office has undoubtedly sent a positive and friendly signal," a commentary in the state-run China Daily said.

His India tour, the first he undertook after becoming Premier in March, was regarded as the most challenging specially due to the border row, the commentary said.

K J M Varma in Beijing
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