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China, India hold 'strategic dialogue'
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2005-01-26 01:30

China and India, the world's two largest developing countries, held a first round of "strategic dialogue"over the past two days with the hope of improving their bilateral relationship despite long-existing border disputes, offi cials said.

An Inida chef performs stunts at a fair in Hangzhou, capital of East China's Zhejiang Province January 4, 2005. [newsphoto]
On Monday, Wu Dawei, Chinesevice-minister of foreign affairs,and Shhyam Saran, Indian foreign secretary at the Ministry of External Affairs, held talks. They reached broad consensus on various issues, Xinhua reported.

Among the international andregional issues discussed were issuessuch as globalization, democratizationof international relations,

UN reforms, non-proliferation,terrorism, the Korean Peninsula as well as regional co-operation,a statement issued by the Indianside said.

"Launching of the new dialogue mechanism indicates the resolve of the two countries to take bilateral engagements into a long term and strategic relationship,"

Indian External Affairs Ministryspokesman Navtej Sarna was quoted by Xinhua as saying.

The talks also covered issues to prepare the groundwork for an upcoming visit to India by PremierWen Jiabao, reports said.

"The dialogue is a further step for the two nations after they have held several rounds of 'security dialogues' in the past to seek the establishment of a 'strategic cooperative partnership,'" said SunShihai, deputy director of the Institute of Asia-Pacific Studiesat the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing.

As developing countries, both China and India share commoninterests in many fields, said Sun, adding that the two sides hold theview that a trend towards multi-polarityis conducive to international peace while both oppose a dominant superpower in Asia.

On the other hand, it reflects theChinese paying more attention to the role of India in the international arena, he added.

As to disputes, the statement said both sides reiterated "their desire to improve their relationshipat all levels and in all areas while addressing their outstanding differences, including boundary questions, in a fair, reasonable andmutually satisfactory manner."

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