China, India forging strategic partnership
China and India began forging a strategic co-operative partnership, yesterday, and stepped closer to making a final settlement of their border disputes.
The results, together with a consensuses on expanding "friendly and mutually-beneficial co-operations," came after nearly 3 hours of talks between Premier Wen Jiabao and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh yesterday afternoon, Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan said last night.
In turn, Wen said a good relationship between the two countries was vital for the future Chinese and Indian generations.
Development of trade and diplomatic links between the two, he said, is in the interests of both nations, and contributes to regional and world peace and stability.
To push forward their relationship, Wen said both sides should deepen and strengthen their "long-term constructive partnership."
Singh said India has always considered the relationship with China in both a regional and world context, and to continuously bolster relations with China has become a consensus for all walks of life. It is also an objective requirement for ensuring India's national development and people's welfare, he said.
Border a 'link'
The most eye-catching bilateral issue to be touched on during Wen's four-day trek to India was that on the vexed boundary questions between the two neighbours.
The results are clear: The two governments inked an agreement on political guiding principles on solving the border issue, Kong said.
This is the first political document signed by the two countries since 1981 when the two counries started the negotiations to settle border disputes. But details of the document are not immediately available.
China's Vice-Foreign Minister Wu Dawei, who is accompanying Chinese Premier Wen on the visit, said the agreement has laid foundations for solving the border issue between the two countries.
Wen said China will push forward demarcation talks with India, and both sides should maintain peace along the border.
In the spirit of mutual understanding and mutual accommodation, and respecting both historical and actual conditions, the two sides should seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the boundary question through consultations on an equal footing, Wen said.
Such efforts boil down to making the border a link for peace, friendship and co-operation between the two countries, he said.
The Sino-Indian border has remained tranquil with no confrontation or military action since 1993.
South Asia situation
Premiers also discussed regional issues.
Wen said China welcomes the easing of Pak-Indian relations, noting the improvement caters to the countries' own needs for development and has bearings on regional peace, stability and growth.
"China would like to see India-Pakistan relations further relaxed, and support all efforts leading to eradicating tension and safeguarding peace," he said.
China does not seek self-interest in South Asia, and when it develops relations with a South Asian country, it does not target a third nation, Wen said.
"China is willing to continue to play a constructive role in promoting peace and development throughout South Asia," he said.
Apart from the pact on the border issue, the two countries yesterday also inked a batch of other documents on civil aviation, plant quarantine, finance and customs.
Meeting with Indian Parliament Speaker and Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat, Wen said parliamentary exchange is an important channel through which to improve the people-to-people relationship, and China encourages more such exchanges with India.
The premier thanked the speaker for his substantial work in promoting Sino-Indian relations.
Shekhawat said the Indian parliament is willing to further relations with China and its people, adding he believed the premier's visit will lend new dynamics to the bilateral relationship.
Wen last night attended an art performance to mark the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
(China Daily 04/12/2005 page1)