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China, India to discuss border issue
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China and India will exchange views on a series of issues concerning bilateral relations during Indian Foreign Minister Pranab Mukherjee's official visit to China, including the border issue, said Qin Gang, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman on Tuesday.

Qin told a regular press conference that China will continue to make joint efforts with India to push negotiations on the border issue toward a fair and reasonable solution accepted by both sides.

He added that China believes that before resolving the border issue, the two sides should jointly safeguard stability and peace in the border area and prevent the issue from disrupting the development of bilateral relations.

China and India have held 11 negotiations on border issues since the mechanism of the representatives of both governments was established. The two sides have reached a consensus on the political principles involved in resolving the border issue.

According to Qin, the two sides are negotiating the framework concerning the resolution of the border issue.

Qin spoke highly of the Indian Foreign Minister's visit, saying this will be the first visit by Mukherjee to China since he took up his post, and both countries attach great importance to the event.

He said Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and other state leaders will meet with Mukherjee and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will hold talks with him.

The two sides will also discuss international and regional issues of common concern, besides bilateral issues.

On China-India relations, Qin said the two countries share a consensus that they consider each other as an important neighbor and partner, and not a threat.

"A steady and continuously developing China-India relationship is in the interests of both countries and peoples and conducive to regional peace, stability and security," said Qin.

He added that such a relationship is both the consensus of the leaders of the two countries and the common wish of the two peoples.

Mukherjee will visit China from June 4 to 7.

(Xinhua News Agency June 4, 2008)

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