Ahead of Premier Wen Jiabao’s India visit next month, China has said it attached great significance to its ties with New Delhi as the relationship had global influence and strategic importance.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi stated this during his meeting with External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna here last night on the sidelines of the trilateral talks among Russia, India and China, which form the RIC grouping.
The two countries’ communication and coordination are also becoming closer on the international and regional issues and China attached great importance to the strategic cooperative partnership with India, Yang was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.
The Chinese Foreign Minister noted that this year marked the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Sino-India diplomatic relations and praised the continuing development of bilateral ties over the past six decades, featuring frequent high-level exchanges and continuously enhanced bilateral cooperation in all areas.
Apparently referring to the perception of India and China being rivals, he said leaders of the two countries have agreed that the world is large enough to accommodate the common development of both sides, and broad enough for them to improve their cooperation.
Mr. Yang stressed that China was willing to work with India to seriously implement the consensus reached by their leaders and strengthen bilateral communication, coordination and cooperation to promote the development of ties in areas of politics, economics, trade and culture.
The two ministers, whose meeting came ahead of Premier Wen’s India visit in December, also noted that bilateral trade has increased with an annual growth rate of more than 30 per cent since 2004.
Additionally, official statistics here showed that the trade volume of the two countries had reached around USD 45.43 billion from January to September, up 43.7 per cent compared with the same period last year. The two countries have set the target of USD 60 billion by the end of this year.
Mr. Krishna, while inviting Chinese investment and expertise in India’s massive infrastructure projects, also sought openings for Indian goods and services, specially IT and pharmaceuticals, in Chinese markets to reduce the trade imbalance.
The issue of stapled visas for the residents of Jammu and Kashmir and India’s request to China, one of the five veto-wielding members of the U.N. Security Council, to support its bid for a permanent UNSC seat did not figure in the official reports.
The two countries have lined up several meetings, including their strategic dialogue on Monday. This would be followed by the 14th round of talks on the boundary issue towards the end of this month here.