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PM's visit will boost Sino-India ties: Ex-envoy

Anil K Joseph in Beijing | June 20, 2003 16:09 IST

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee's upcoming visit to China is expected to chart a new dynamic roadmap for Sino-India relations in the 21st century.

The six-day visit, the first by an Indian prime minister since 1993, is bound to impart momentum to the bilateral ties that have witnessed improvement and development in recent years with a frequent exchange of high-level visits and continuous, intensified exchanges and cooperation in various fields, including counter-terrorism and military-to-military ties, analysts said.

"As a farsighted pioneer in restoring normal Sino-Indian relations in 1979 and a senior statesman of the world today, Vajpayee's visit to China will certainly be a new milestone in further developing the relations in an overall way," former Chinese ambassador to India Cheng Rusheng said.

The strengthening of Sino-India relations through this visit will serve as a major stabilising factor for peace and security in the region, he said. Noting that Vajpayee's visit will take place after new Chinese leaders assumed power in Beijing in March, another former Chinese ambassador to India Zhou Gang said the trip would lay a solid foundation for a 21st century-oriented, good-neighbourly relationship between the two big Asian neighbours.

"The visit will impart a positive effect not only to Sino-Indian relations but also to the regional situation," Zhou, also secretary-general of the India-China Eminent Persons' Group, told PTI.

Zhou pointed out that China and India are both large, developing countries and friendly cooperation between the two nations would be conducive to regional and global peace and stability.

During his visit, Vajpayee will hold official talks with his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao and will have separate meetings with President Hu Jintao, Chairman of the Central Military Commission Jiang Zemin, Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress Wu Bangguo and Vice President Zeng Qinghong.

The two sides will have in-depth exchange of views on bilateral, regional and international issues of common concern, Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao said. "The Chinese side feels joyous over the healthy growth of Sino-Indian relations," Liu said, adding that Beijing is willing to make joint efforts with New Delhi to greatly strengthen cooperation in various fields and raise the constructive partnership of cooperation to a new level.

He said the unresolved Sino-Indian boundary issue will be high on the agenda of Chinese leaders, who would like to see an early settlement of the problem that has impaired the smooth development of bilateral ties. "We believe that a fair solution can be found as long as the two sides follow the principles of consultations based on equality, mutual understanding and accommodation," Liu said, while noting that the border between China and India has been peaceful and stable in recent years thanks to joint efforts made by both sides.

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