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Li's India trip helps build consensus

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-05-23 01:47

MUMBAI - Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit to India helped build strategic consensus and mutual trust between the two neighbors, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday.

China and India, Wang said, have a long history of exchange, and friendship has been the mainstream in bilateral relations, which also experienced turbulence at times.

"During the talks with Indian leaders, Premier Li started with the strategic importance of the China-India relationship," Wang said.

"Li stressed that both China and India are ancient civilizations, developing countries and emerging markets. The significance of their cooperation extends well beyond themselves. It is a blessing not only to the Chinese and Indian peoples, but also to Asia and the world," he said.

Noting that there are rarely two countries in the world with so many similarities like China and India, Wang said Beijing and New Delhi are natural strategic partners.

"The strategic significance was often overlooked in the past. Li's starting point provides us with a more objective perspective of viewing China-India relations," he said.

Another focus of Li's visit is to seek and expand strategic consensus between China and India, and to make that consensus always be the mainstream of bilateral ties, the foreign minister said.

Wang said both sides stressed in a joint statement that they are partners, rather than opponents, and regard each other's development as its own opportunities, not challenges. Both China and India believe their economies are highly complementary and the potential for cooperation is huge.

Whether the two countries could build and deepen mutual strategic trust is crucial to charting the future course of bilateral relations, Wang said, adding that Li repeatedly stressed the idea during his visit.

Li's visit to India, Wang said, has fully demonstrated the new Chinese leadership's determination, confidence and sincerity in strengthening China-India strategic cooperative partnership.

Li arrived in New Delhi on Sunday and left Mumbai Wednesday morning for Islamabad, capital of Pakistan. He will also visit Switzerland and Germany in his first overseas trip after assuming premiership in March.

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