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Premier's India Trip to Discuss Border Disputes

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao will tour South Asian countries starting next week, which a senior diplomat viewed on Friday as a major move to build partnerships and friendships with its neighbors.
"South Asia holds an important position for China's diplomacy in the region, and China attaches great importance to developing neighborly friendship with all countries in South Asia," said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei at a news briefing on Premier Wen's upcoming visit.
Wen will pay an official visit to Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and India from April 5 to 12. This will be his first visit to the four South Asian nations since he was elected Chinese Premier in March 2003.
The visit by Premier Wen is expected to help China and South Asian countries enhance traditional friendship, deepen mutually-beneficial cooperation and increase mutual trust, Wu said.
Premier Wen will exchange views with the leaders of the countries on bilateral relations and issues of mutual concern, said Wu, adding that the premier will also visit some areas in Sri Lanka hit by last December's tsunami, during his tour of the country, said Wu.
Wu said Premier Wen is scheduled to attend the celebrations of the 30th anniversary of China-Bangladesh diplomatic relations and 55th anniversary of China-India relations. Cooperative agreements on politics, trade, technology and education are expected to be signed during the premier's tour.
The premier will address the 4th Ministerial Meeting of Asia Cooperation Dialogue to be held in Islamabad on April 6, where he will articulate China's stance on stepping up regional cooperation.
"China and South Asian countries share extensive common interests and similar development goals," said the vice foreign minister. "China hopes to see a South Asian family enjoying peace, tranquility, unity and prosperity."

(Xinhua News Agency April 2, 2005)


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