Third Session
10th National People's Congress and
Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference

Chinese Premier to Visit India Soon

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao announced in Beijing Monday that he will pay a visit to India soon at the invitation of his Indian counterpart.
At a press conference in the Great Hall of the People in downtown Beijing Monday morning, the premier said that as the two most populous nations in the world, China and India are not rivals but friends, and that both countries shall work together to tap the potential of bilateral cooperation and find a "fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable plan" to solve their border disputes.
"I hope you can send my message back to the great Indian people, that we're not competitors, we are friends," said Wen while asked by an Indian correspondent to comment on bilateral relations between the two countries.
Acknowledging that China and India will celebrate next month the 55th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties, Wen expressed the hope that the anniversary would "become a new starting point for Sino-Indian friendly cooperation".
Stating that the development of Sino-Indian relations has "entered a new stage" in recent years, Wen said that during his planned visit, he would seek consensus mainly on three issues with his Indian hosts.
"Both China and India should fully recognize the great significance of Sino-Indian friendship, not only to Asia, but also to the entire world," said Wen.
Though the annual trade volume between the two countries has now reached US$13.6 billion, there remains great potentials for the two sides to expand cooperation and seek common development, he added.
On the sensitive boundary issue, the premier suggested that the two countries first establish the principle for the resolution of the issue, which was left over by history, on the basis of equal consultation and mutual understanding and accommodation with both respect for history and accommodation for reality.
The premier gave an emotional ending to his comments by quoting from an ancient Indian poem: "May we not hate anyone. Let there be peace, let there be peace, let there be peace!"

(Xinhua News Agency March 14, 2005)

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