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Li: Stronger India ties to benefit both nations

Updated: 2014-05-30 06:51
By Pu zhendong and Zhang Yunbi ( China Daily)

Beijing and New Delhi should see each other's development as providing opportunities and work closely to facilitate the construction of a regional economic corridor, Premier Li Keqiang said on Thursday.

"China and India, both civilizations with long histories and the world's largest developing countries and emerging markets, are natural cooperative partners," Li said in a telephone call with his Indian counterpart, Narendra Modi, who was sworn in to office on Monday.

The telephone conversation was Modi's first with a foreign government leader since taking over as prime minister.

Li said China and India need to improve trust, discover more areas with shared interests and jointly promote the establishment of an economic corridor that connects the two countries, as well as Myanmar and Bangladesh.

China raised the proposal of building a Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor during Li's visit to India last May. The four countries established an inter-government system to help boost economic cooperation in December.

Chen Lijun, an expert on Southeast Asia studies at Yunnan Academy of Social Sciences, said India has sped up its pace of boosting the BCIM economic corridor since Li's visit.

"India has a strong demand for bolstering cooperation with China. China is an emerging market and a locomotive of the economic growth of developing countries. India wants to take a ride on it," Chen said.

Li said bilateral relations have developed substantially over the years due to joint efforts from both sides.

"China and India have explored a way of getting along with each other through expanding cooperation and properly managing differences," Li said.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the announcement of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, which was initially endorsed by China, India and Myanmar (then Burma) in 1954.

Li said cooperation and common development between Beijing and New Delhi will benefit both countries and contribute to global efforts to tackle the development problem.

Describing the relations with China as "a priority of Indian diplomacy", Modi said India is willing to learn from China's development.

"The new government will pay high attention to China-Indian ties from a strategic perspective," Modi said, adding that he welcomed greater economic engagement between the two countries.

Boosting the domestic economy is "Modi's top priority", and the Indian public has placed high hope on Modi's economic talents, said Lou Chunhao, an expert on South Asia studies at the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations.

"We are willing to work with China to advance cooperation in all areas and work to solve current problems through dialogue," Modi told Li.

Contact the writers at puzhendong@chinadaily.com.cn and zhangyunbi@chinadaily.com.cn

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