China, India pledge to strengthen ties

Beijing, May 10 (IANS) China-India relations have "strategic significance" and "global impact" as both are large developing countries and emerging markets, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang told India's visiting External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid here Friday.

Later, Khurshid also met Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi, who also pledged to strengthen ties between the two countries.

Premier Li highlighted the importance that the new Chinese government has placed on developing ties with India, Xinhua reported.

He said China would like to enhance political trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation, strengthen people-to-people understanding and expand communication on international and regional issues so as to develop their strategic partnership.

Last week, intense negotiations between India and China saw an end to a 20-day stand-off, with troops of both sides pulling back to their respective positions prior to April 15 -- when Chinese forces intruded 19 km inside the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh.

"Friendly cooperation is central to China-India relations and common interests outweigh differences," Li told Khurshid.

Li urged the two countries to cherish their ties, be more progressive in expanding cooperation and inject new vitality into the economies of Asia and the world.

He said China would like to negotiate with India to settle border issues and create favourable conditions for bilateral cooperation and development.

On his part, Khurshid said developing relations benefits both sides and promotes regional and global peace and prosperity.

India would like to work with China to send a positive signal of mutual trust and support to the world, as well as effectively control differences and resolve border issues, he said.

State Councillor Yang Jiechi, who also pledged to strengthen ties between the two countries, said during the meeting with Khurshid that China and India were both major developing countries with great influence in the world.

He said the rapid development of bilateral ties in recent years has brought concrete benefits to the people in both countries and made contributions to regional and world peace and development.

Yang said China attaches great importance in developing relations with India and was willing to work with New Delhi to maintain high-level contact and advance the two countries' partnership.

He said China wants to make joint efforts with India to continue to advance the process of border negotiations and safeguard peace and stability in border areas.

Khurshid agreed that cooperation was important to the two sides as well as to the world.

He said India was willing to work with China to take the opportunity of the exchange of high-level visits to expand cooperation in various aspects, properly handle their differences and open a new chapter in bilateral relations.

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