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China, India 'to hold joint exercise'
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Amid reports that China and India will hold their first joint military exercise next month, the two countries yesterday reiterated they were ready to take their strategic cooperative partnership to a "new level".


As Premier Wen Jiabao met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the East Asian Summit, Indian Defense Ministry spokesman Sitanshu Kar said about 100 troops each from both the countries will take part in the military drill.


"The joint exercise, to be held in southwest China's Yunnan Province, will focus on counter-terrorism measures," the Australian Associated Press quoted Kar as having said yesterday. "This is important to boost bilateral ties."


At their meeting, Wen and Singh agreed to strengthen cooperation in energy security and fighting climate change, and vowed to resolve the boundary issue through "mutually acceptable" means.


"The long-term friendly and mutually beneficial cooperation for common development between China and India will profoundly influence the look of Asia and the world at large," Wen said.


"It has been proved that the China-India friendly and cooperative relationship has benefited the two peoples and promoted peace, south-south cooperation and world development."


Corroborating the premier, Singh said India-China ties are beyond and above bilateral matters. They are related to peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world beyond. "India and China are not rivals, but friends and partners."


On the border issue, Wen said: "We are glad to see that both sides have sincerity and determination to resolve it."


Arduous efforts are needed to solve the pending issue through consultations and mutual understanding and concessions, he said.


The Indian government, Singh said, is politically determined to resolve the boundary issue. India will work with China to overcome the obstacles and push forward the negotiations.


China and India have held 11 rounds of talks on the boundary issue, which Wen described as being "pragmatic and effective".


(China Daily November 22, 2007)

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