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Sino-Indian ties cemented
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China and India on Monday signed a joint document of their shared vision of accelerating bilateral ties and making joint efforts in contributing to world development.

The document was signed by Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who was on his first China tour since he assumed office.

Premier Wen Jiabao welcomes Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing January 14, 2008. Wen said that Sino-Indian relations face important strategic chances as he met with the Indian Prime Minister.

Officials and scholars called the document a milestone for relations between the two countries.

The seven-page document, "A Shared Vision for the 21st Century of the People's Republic of China and the Republic of India", covers extensive fields, both bilateral and multilateral. It touches economy, politics, energy, nuclear, climate change, disarmament, terrorism, religion, regional trade and integrity, defense and border issue.

China and India "are convinced that it is time to look to the future in building a relationship of friendship and trust, based on equality, in which each is sensitive to the concerns and aspirations of the other," said the document. It reiterates that "China-India friendship and common development will have a positive influence on the future of the international system."

The two nations believe their bilateral relationship in this century will be of significant regional and global influence. They will therefore continue to build their strategic and cooperative partnership in a positive way.

Against the backdrop of accelerating regional economic integration in Asia, the two sides agreed to explore the possibility of commencing discussions on a mutually beneficial and high-quality Regional Trading Arrangement (RTA) that meets the common aspirations of both countries, and will also benefit the region.

China and India will continuously promote confidence-building measures through steadily enhanced contacts in the field of defence, said the document.

It said the two sides welcomed the commencement of the China-India Defence Dialogue and are satisfied with the successful conclusion of the first joint anti-terrorism training between their armed forces in December.

On the border issue, the document said the two sides remained firmly committed to resolving outstanding differences, including on the boundary question, through peaceful negotiations, and reiterated their determination to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the boundary question.

The special representatives of both nations shall complete at an early date the task of arriving at an agreed framework of settlement on the basis of this agreement, said the document.

China and India vowed to "bear a significant historical responsibility to ensure comprehensive, balanced and sustainable economic and social development of the two countries and to promote peace and development in Asia and the world as a whole."

In the document, the two countries pledged to support and encourage the processes of regional integration, welcome the positive facets of economic globalization and to face and meet its challenges. They advocated to establish an international energy order that is fair, equitable, secure and stable, and are committed to making joint efforts to diversify the global energy mix and enhance the share of clean and renewable energy, according to the document.

The two sides welcomed the opportunity for their outstanding scientists to work together in the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) project. This is of great potential significance in meeting the global energy challenge in an environmentally sustainable manner.

The two sides took the issue of climate change seriously and reiterated their readiness to join the international community in the efforts to address climate change.

China and India strongly condemned the scourge of terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and in all regions of the world, said the document. The two sides pledged to work together and with the international community to strengthen the global framework against terrorism in a long-term, sustained and comprehensive manner.

The two sides supported comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including giving priority to increasing the representation of developing countries in the Security Council. China understands and supports India's aspirations to play a greater role in the UN, including in the Security Council, said the document.

China and India also appealed to the international community to move forward the processes of multilateral arms control, disarmament and non-proliferation.

"The document was another landmark event in the development of Sino-Indian relations, signaling another big step forward in their bilateral relations," said Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Qin Gang at a news briefing on Monday night.

He disclosed several memorandums of understanding were inked between Chinese and Indian government agencies in macro-economy, construction, railway, geological survey, agricultural banking, land resources, medicine, quality inspection and commerce.

The two nations also agreed to increase high-level exchanges, forecasting rosy prospects for bilateral relations.

According to Qin, China has invited Indian President Pratibha Patil to visit China in 2009, and Singh has invited China's top legislator, Wu Bangguo, and Premier Wen to visit India at an appropriate time. The two countries' foreign ministers will carry out mutual visits within the year.

The two sides recognize their responsibilities and obligations to the international community. They are determined to enhance mutual understanding and friendship, for the betterment of both countries and to bring about a brighter future for humanity, said the document.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao shakes hands with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after they jointly sign relevant documents in Beijing on Jan. 14, 2008.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao meets with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Jan. 14, 2008.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh attend the inauguration ceremony of the China-India Joint Medical Mission in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 14, 2008.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh meet the press after their meeting in Beijing on Jan. 14, 2008.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao hosts a welcoming ceremony for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Jan. 14, 2008.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh toast after they jointly sign relevant documents in Beijing on Jan. 14, 2008.

(Xinhua News Agency January 15, 2008)

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