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Chinese PM in India April 9-12
Anil K Joseph in Beijing
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March 24, 2005 18:04 IST

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will visit India in April in an effort to propel Beijing's [Images] relations with the region to a "new high," a senior official said on Thursday.

The visit will be part of a major diplomatic mission to four South Asian countries -- Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka [Images] and India -- Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told reporters.

Though he gave no specific country-wise dates, official sources said Wen would be in India from April 9 to 12, visiting Bangalore and New Delhi.

Wen would be in India soon after the two countries celebrate the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. "Our relations have entered a new stage," Wen said at a recent annual press conference, stressing that China and India are not competitors but friends.

Liu said Wen would also attend the fourth meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Asia Cooperation Dialogue to be held in Islamabad on April 6.

This is the first visit to the four countries by Wen, who ranks number three in the ruling Communist Party hierarchy.

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