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Chinese, Indian FMs Discuss Strategic Partnership
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Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing met with his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee in New Delhi on Tuesday aiming to progress the deepening strategic partnership between the world's two most populous countries.



During the meeting, Li spoke of the favorable momentum of Sino-Indian ties towards comprehensive development, a momentum maintained through the successful visit of President Hu Jintao last November and the recent meeting between Premier Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the East Asian Summit in the Philippines.


Both countries have reached mutual understanding on how to deepen the Sino-Indian strategic partnership and improve bilateral ties in the future, he said.


Li added that China will work with India towards full implementation of the 10-point plan to deepen the Sino-Indian strategic partnership, which was agreed upon during President Hu's visit, he said.


Mukherjee followed Li, saying the development of India-China relations is conducive to both sides and of importance to global peace and stability. With high-level exchanges such as President Hu's landmark visit, China and India should rapidly develop a mutual understanding to move forwards with bilateral ties.


The two foreign ministers further unveiled a new direct hotline between their respective offices, announced the formal start of a hotline between them, which was part of the 10-point plan.


Showing the widening scope of bilateral ties, China and India will also open consulates-general in Kolkata, capital of eastern Indian state West Bengal, and Guangzhou, capital of south China's Guangdong Province, by the end of 2007.


Li kicked off his four-day visit to India on Sunday. On Monday, he attended the opening ceremony of a memorial hall to Xuan Zang, a famed Chinese monk who made a pilgrimage to Nalanda in the northern Indian state of Bihar 1,300 years ago to further his Buddhist studies.


On Wednesday he will formally launch the China-India Friendship Year Through Tourism along with Mukherjee and Indian Tourism Minister Ambika Soni. He will then hold an important round of talks with Mukherjee and their Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.


(Xinhua News Agency February 14, 2007)

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