Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee arrived in Beijing on Sunday,
starting a six-day official visit to China at the invitation of Premier Wen
It is the first visit to China by
an Indian prime minister in nearly a decade.
India's Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee,
right, salutes the party waiting for him as he is lowered from the
airplane on a lift at the airport in Beijing, China, Sunday, June 22,
Vice-Foreign Minister Wang Yi welcomed Vajpayee, who was followed by Indian
senior officials, 40 entrepreneurs and 60 journalists, at the airport.
According to Chinese Foreign Ministry sources, Chinese leaders will meet with
Vajpayee and the Indian prime minister will give two speeches during the visit.
In New Delhi, Vajpayee said on Friday he hopes his discussions with the
Chinese leadership will build better understanding and trust between the peoples
of the two countries, and give an extra push to bilateral co-operation.
He made the remarks in an interview with Xinhua before his visit to China.
"My visit to China is the first by an Indian prime minister in nearly a
decade. In this period, our two countries have developed a wide canvas of
mutually beneficial co-operation," Vajpayee said.
"The world around us has also changed dramatically during these years. As two
of the world's largest and most populous developing countries, India and China
should remain in close touch on global issues of concern to developing
Vajpayee also noted that India and China jointly defined the Five Principles
of Peaceful Co-existence about 50 years ago as the basis of relations between
sovereign, independent countries.
The Indian leader said he looks forward to the opportunity to see for himself
the rapid economic development China has achieved in the last two decades.
On Sino-Indian relations, he said, "In recent years, our two countries have
launched a process of diversification of bilateral relations."
"We have successfully developed mutually beneficial bilateral co-operation,
while simultaneously addressing our differences."
On economic ties between the two countries, he said, "India and China are
among the world's fastest growing economies. The basic structure of our
economies is not dissimilar, though we have chosen different paths towards