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Chinese, Indian Leaders Vow to Step Up Cooperation

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh agreed on Wednesday to boost bilateral ties by stepping up mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields.


Hu, who is in New York to attend the UN summit on the 60th anniversary of the founding of the United Nations, said Sino-Indian relations have been developing smoothly in the past few years, and are now faced with important opportunities for further development.


He urged both sides to actively expand cooperation in various fields and continuously enrich the contents of bilateral strategic partnership.


Hu said China and India have declared 2006 as a friendship year for both countries. China attaches great importance to this event and will join hands with the Indian side to push bilateral exchanges and cooperation to a higher level through holding celebration activities.


Hu said Sino-Indian economic and trade cooperation are enjoying a good momentum. Bilateral trade amounted to US$9.3 billion in the first half of this year, registering a 40-percent year-on-year growth, and the original goal of doubling bilateral trade volume could be achieved earlier than scheduled.


Hu suggested that the two countries start the seventh joint commission on economy, trade, science and technology as soon as possible for the deliberation and implementation of the five-year plan for Sino-Indian trade and cooperation, start feasibility studies of regional trade arrangements between the two countries and sign agreements on protecting and encouraging investments.


On the border issue, Hu said achievements have been made in negotiations. The two governments have reached an agreement on the political guiding principles on resolving the issue, and the border areas have remained peaceful and calm.


For his part, Singh said friendly cooperation between India and China, two ancient civilizations, is conducive to peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region and the world as a whole.


Different political parties in India have reached consensus on this point and developing a strategic partnership with China is important to both countries, he said.


He agreed to Hu's suggestion that the joint commission on economy, trade, science and technology be convened as early as possible, and said India highly appreciates the bilateral agreement on the political guiding principles for settling the border issue.


Both leaders also agreed to better coordinate their stance on international affairs, with Singh saying that this will help better safeguard the common interests of all the developing countries and world peace, as well as promote the common development of all countries.


(Xinhua News Agency September 15, 2005)


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