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President Jiang Meets Indian Parliamentary Speaker
China will continue to strengthen friendly relations with its neighbors and raise the level of exchanges and cooperation with them to a new high, President Jiang Zemin said in Beijing Tuesday.

President Jiang made the remarks when meeting Manohar Joshi, speaker of the Indian parliament's Lok Sabha, or House of the People, who is visiting China.

After briefing Speaker Joshi on the just-concluded 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), President Jiang said China needed a favorable and peaceful environment as it strove to reach the targets set at the congress.

"We will always unswervingly uphold a peaceful foreign policy of independence, and work hard to maintain world peace and promote common development," Jiang said. "We will continue to strengthen friendly relations with our neighbors, go on treating our neighbors with goodwill, and take our neighbors as partners."

Recalling his visit to India in 1996, President Jiang said that China and India, both the largest developing countries on earth, had wide prospects for developing bilateral ties.

China greatly valued its relations with India, Jiang said. China was satisfied with the development of bilateral relations after the two sides decided to establish a constructive and cooperative partnership a few years ago.

Joshi said India and China, both having ancient civilizations with vast populations, were facing similar challenges in the course of rapid economic growth. That was why they decided to boost cooperation in various areas and to resolve differences through talks.

In recent years, he said, relations between India and China had been strengthened and India hoped that the bilateral cooperation in all spheres could be further improved.

(Xinhua News Agency January 8, 2003)

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