Wen calls for enhanced exchanges with India

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Visiting Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao in DelhiĀ on Thursday called for enhanced exchanges in various fields with India.

During a meeting with Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Wen said that an important purpose of his ongoing visit, which happens as China and India mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties, is to strengthen exchanges with India in politics, economy, and culture and humanitarian aspects.

Wen said he is happy that both sides have reached important consensus in that regard.

The two countries have declared that the year of 2011 will be the "Year of China-India Exchange," during which a series of exchanges and activities will be held and each side will invite 500 youth from the other side for a visit.

Wen said the basis for exchanges is to treat each other in an honest and candid manner.

China and India share common interests and views on many major issues, and friendly cooperation has always been the mainstream, he said.

While acknowledging the existence of some differences and contradictions between the two countries on some issues, he called on both sides not to sidestep them.

"Progress can be achieved as long as we brave the difficulties and make unremitting efforts," said the Chinese premier.

"China and India are partners, not rivals," Wen said, adding, "I hope this can be a firm faith of both sides."

Ansari, who is also head of the Rajya Sabha, or the upper house of the Parliament of India, said that as the world is undergoing changes, India and China are also developing.

Both sides should enhance their exchanges and cooperation, he said.

Different political parties in India have reached consensus on developing the friendly relations with China, Ansari said, adding that India and China are neighbors and friends, and must seek friendly coexistence.

The Rajya Sabha wishes to strengthen exchanges with the National People's Congress, China's legislative body, and contribute to the development of bilateral ties, Ansari said.

Wen arrived here Wednesday for a three-day official visit at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh.

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