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Home > News > PTI

PM describes China visit as fruitful

June 27, 2003 14:43 IST

Following is the text of the statement by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee at the conclusion of his visit to China:

I have completed an important visit to the People's Republic of China.

In my statement on my departure from Delhi, I had said that there is a compelling geographical, political and economic logic for closer relations between our two countries. My discussions with President Hu Jintao, Chairman Jiang Zemin, Premier Wen Jiabao and other senior representatives of the new Chinese leadership were most cordial and fruitful.

We got the distinct message from these meetings that China fully reciprocates our desire for mutual goodwill and for a comprehensive expansion of cooperation in all areas.

We were also in agreement that cooperative relations between India and China would be a positive force in the search for a multi-polar world order. All my interlocutors stressed that the current global situation requires India and China to work together.

We have concluded 10 agreements and a joint declaration on the principles of development of our relations. The agreements reaffirm our efforts to diversify our bilateral cooperation into new areas.

The joint declaration sets out our shared perspectives on the future lines of development of this relationship. You will note that our common position on terrorism is reflected in the joint declaration.

Among the important steps discussed was of course the settlement of the India-China boundary question. Both countries have been discussing principles, which are to be followed for an eventual boundary settlement.

Premier Wen Jiabao and I agreed that these discussions can be given an impetus exploring the framework of a boundary settlement from the political perspective of the overall bilateral relationship, and to appoint special representatives for this purpose.

As you are aware, our National Security Adviser would be the special representative from India. China has also appointed its special representative. We hope this new initiative will accelerate the search for a solution to this vexed problem.

Premier Wen Jiabao and I also agreed that the joint work on clarification of the Line of Actual Control should continue smoothly. We also agreed that peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control should continue to be maintained.

The decision to establish a Joint Study Group of economists and officials is particularly significant for the expansion of our economic cooperation in existing areas and its diversification into new areas.

The Joint Study Group will identify areas of meaningful economic potential and recommend concrete measures to the two governments to facilitate increase in bilateral trade, promote investments and exploit bilateral and multilateral opportunities for joint economic efforts by India and China.

We have signed a border trade protocol with China to add a third border crossing point for our trade with China. With this protocol, which would enable trade between Sikkim and Tibet, we have also started the process by which Sikkim will cease to be an issue in India-China relations.

There has been much discussion and debate on our position on Tibet, as reflected in the Joint Declaration. I do not wish to go into long and tedious explanations or analyses of words.

I would only like to say there is no ambiguity or inconsistency in our position on the Tibet Autonomous Region of the People's Republic of China. We were therefore happy to reiterate our position in the Joint Declaration.

Besides my own interactions with Chinese leadership, our Minister of Commerce and Industry has had discussions with his counterparts and with other agencies in Beijing. The Minister of Communications and Information Technology had a number of meetings here in Shanghai. I addressed business meetings in both cities and our Ministers had extensive interactive sessions with the Chinese business representatives.

The business delegation accompanying me on this visit was one of the largest of all my visits abroad. I believe that there is a new awareness in business and industrial circles of both countries of the potential in our economic relationship.

We have to build on these positive elements to enhance mutual trust and understanding between our two countries and maximise the mutual benefits from our bilateral and multilateral cooperation.

It was an uplifting experience for me to see in Luoyang the Longmen grottos and the Temple that marks the arrival of the first Buddhist monks from India to China with Buddhist teachings. I was deeply impressed by the exquisite carvings and the impressive statues of the Buddha, which remind us of an important dimension of the India-China connection.

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