China and India adopted a "10-pronged strategy" to "further substantiate and reinforce their strategic and cooperative partnership," which has moved beyond a bilateral relationship to assume global significance.
This consensus was attained yesterday between visiting President Hu Jintao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during talks in the Indian capital.
The talks between the leaders of the world's two most populous countries resulted in a joint declaration that promises to double the volume of trade to US$40 billion by 2010, to seek an early settlement of outstanding issues such as border disputes and boost cooperation in science and technology including expansion of the civilian nuclear energy program.
The two sides also pledged to hold regular summit-level meetings, strengthen institutional contacts, promote bilateral investment and expand cooperation in fields as varied as trade, industry, finance, agriculture, water resources, energy, environment, information technology, tourism and other fields.
A joint task force has been created to complete a feasibility study on a Sino-Indian regional trading arrangement by October 2007.
The two countries also decided to exchange views more frequently on "the emerging security environment in the Asia-Pacific and in the world," instil mutual trust and confidence through defense cooperation and work closer together to counter terrorism.
During his talks with Singh, Hu put forward six proposals on the development of relations.
He suggested that China and India enhance mutual political trust through dialogue and consultations, achieve mutually beneficial results by strengthening economic collaboration, broaden common interests by expanding cooperative projects; augment the foundation of friendship by increasing inter-personal exchanges; and maintain peace on the border areas.
After the talks, the two sides signed 13 agreements, protocols and MOUs.
"In bilateral, regional and international dimensions, China and India share broad common interests," Hu told over 200 journalists from Chinese, India and international media.
He stressed that both sides have agreed to abide by the spirit of the guiding principles for the settlement of border disputes signed in April last year.
While solutions to the border question are pending, Hu said the two sides would collaborate to maintain peace and tranquility in the affected areas.
"Both China and India are confident of our future relationship and are willing to work together to facilitate all-round and in-depth development of strategic and cooperative partnership," Hu said.
The Indian prime minister said, "As two large Asian states and as two of the fastest growing emerging economies of the world, cooperation between India and China transcends the bilateral and has global significance.
"The nature and range of agreements signed today point to the consolidation and diversification of bilateral relations," Singh said.
"I think both sides have realized that solutions to pending issues are not near concrete," Dr Swaran Singh, associate professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University's School of International Studies, told China Daily. "However, both expressed determination that bilateral relations will stay on course and will not allow contentious issues to disrupt their relationship."
India is the third leg of Hu's four-nation tour, which has already taken him to Vietnam and Laos, and will take him to Pakistan tomorrow.
(China Daily November 22, 2006)