The Chinese and Indian defense ministers on Monday pledged to strengthen military exchanges between the two armed forces.
In a meeting in Beijing with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee, Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan said that the Chinese government hoped for peace, stability and economic growth to continue in the south Asia region.
Cao, also vice-chairman of the Central Military Commission and a state councilor, said the Chinese government supports the efforts of south Asian nations to push for regional cooperation.
Friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation are in the fundamental interests of China and India, and are conducive to the peace, stability and development of Asia and the world, Cao said.
Mukherjee said India attaches great importance to its strategic and cooperative partnership with China. The Indian government will work with China on the basis of mutual respect and mutual trust to continue deepening defense and military exchanges.
Also on Monday, Mukherjee met with Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing who pledged that China would step up strategic and cooperative relations with India this year, which has been designated the year of friendship between China and India.
Li said that China attaches great importance to relations with India, noting that the common prosperity of China and India, collectively home to one third of the world's population, would be a huge contribution to humankind.
Mukherjee said that India and China are good friends and share similar views on many issues, adding that the cooperation between the two countries and their active involvement in world affairs are conducive to the peace, stability and development of the world.
India will make concerted efforts with China to boost mutual understanding and trust in a bid to push forward bilateral relations, Mukherjee stressed.
Mukherjee arrived in Beijing on Sunday for a six-day visit as Cao's guest. This is Mukherjee's first trip to China since he took office in 2004.
The Indian minister will also visit Shanghai and northwest China's Gansu Province.
(Xinhua News Agency May 30, 2006)