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Indian PM hopes to further boost relations with China
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Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Thursday that he expected his upcoming visit to China could shape a relationship that befits the two countries and their future generations.


"I am going with an open mind to hold free and frank discussions on all issues of common interests with a view to shaping a relationship that befits our two countries and our future generations," Singh said in a written interview with Xinhua.


Singh, who is to leave for Beijing Saturday night for a three-day official visit, said "India-China relations have today transcended their bilateral dimension and have acquired global and strategic significance."


It is Singh's first visit to China since his government came to power three years ago.


Calling his visit "part of the recent happy tradition of high-level exchanges" between the two countries, Singh recalled the visits of his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao and Chinese President Hu Jintao to India in 2005 and 2006 respectively.


The visits helped to build a strategic and cooperative partnership between India and China, he said.


As the two most populous countries in the world, China and India made development as their top priority while facing various challenges, and both sides need to exchange and draw upon each other's experiences, Singh said.


The Indian prime minister said he will seek to further promote the India-China partnership in science and technology and commence on launching several joint projects.


Additionally, Singh said he will exchange views on regional and multilateral issues including UN reforms, regional dialog mechanisms like cooperation in the East Asia summit and global issues such as combating climate change, energy security, international trade and counter-terrorism.


"Both India and China must play our respective roles to ensure peace and prosperity in Asia and in the world," he said.


Singh said there is a growing feeling in the world that rapid economic development of India and China is an international public good, which benefits Asia and the world economy as a whole.


"Our two countries have to intensify cooperation in diverse areas to sustain the momentum of rapid economic development," he said.


He noted that both countries have identical views on some multilateral challenges such as globalization, international trade, terrorism, energy security and disaster management, saying that the two countries are cooperating in various regional and sub-regional cooperation mechanisms in Asia.


"We need to broad-base our interactions on all these issues so that our views and opinions are listened to by the international community," said Singh.


On the border issue, Singh said peace and tranquility has been maintained in the border areas in accordance with a series of agreements.


India is committed to resolving differences on the boundary question, "through peaceful means and in a fair, reasonable, mutually acceptable and proactive manner, while ensuring that such differences are not allowed to affect the positive development of bilateral relations," he said.


He said officials are engaged in discussions in order to finalize at an early date an appropriate framework for a final package settlement covering all sectors of the India-China boundary.


"An early settlement of the boundary question will advance the basic interests of the two countries and should, therefore, be pursued as a strategic objective," the Indian prime minister said.


(Xinhua News Agency January 11, 2008)

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