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China, India Agree to Work More Closely
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China and India agreed yesterday to seek a resolution on the pending boundary issue and vowed to strengthen their partnership to combat climate change.

The agreement was reached at President Hu Jintao's meting with the Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Berlin yesterday, on the sidelines of the G8 summit's outreach session in Heiligendamm.

"Sino-Indian relations are on the fast track," Hu said. China hopes "both sides can step up talks on the border issue in the spirit of peace and friendship, equal consultation as well as mutual respect and understanding" to seek a mutually acceptable solution at the earliest, he said.

Deputy Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo and Indian National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan have been tasked with finding a fair and mutually acceptable solution to the dispute. Ten rounds of talks have been held on the issue since 2003, with the latest taking place this April in India.

Calling China the "greatest neighbor", Singh said India wanted the "strongest relationship" with Beijing and would do "everything possible" to cement the ties.

The two countries have agreed in principle to settle the border issue, and India is ready to make more efforts to find a practical solution, he said.

According to the Indian media, Singh could visit China later this year, further boosting the two countries' ties.

On climate change, the burning issue on the G8 summit agenda, Hu said China and India, both densely populated developing nations, have been affected by global warming and made consistent efforts to achieve sustainable development. "China expects to intensify exchanges and cooperation with India on climate change."

In response, Singh said his country holds a position similar to that of China on the issue and is willing to strengthen coordination with its northern neighbor.

Hu's meeting with Singh was among a series of others he had with leaders of developing nations, who have been invited by German Chancellor Angela Merkel to attend the dialogue meeting between the G8 members and the developing countries.

Hu also met with the presidents of Nigeria, South Africa, Senegal and Mexico, Umaru Yar'Adua, Thabo Mbeki, Abdoulaye Wade and Felipe de Jesus Calderon Hinojosa, respectively.

(China Daily June 8, 2007)

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