Hu: Ties with India among the most important

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On the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between India and China, President Hu Jintao said the nation regards its relationship with India as one of its most important bilateral ties. China was ready to strengthen friendship, deepen mutual trust and expand cooperation with India, Hu added. 

According to a notice on the foreign ministry's website, Hu and his Indian counterpart Pratibha Patil exchanged congratulatory messages on the occasion.

Patil in her message said that India's ever-growing relationship with China was of global and strategic significance. The close cooperation between the two nations will be conducive to peace and stability in Asia and the world at large, she said.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao also exchanged greetings with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh on the occasion.

Wen said the world has enough room for China and India to develop together. The neighbors should learn from and support each other to achieve win-win results and common development. Wen was referring to the competition between the two largest developing nations, as often cited by Western media.

Despite cooperation in many fields, including fighting climate change, bilateral ties between the two have often been described as thorny, given the disputes on border issues and regional cooperation. Yet, experts pointed out that the two giants should further deepen political trust to achieve win-win results and for mutual development. Both nations have recently tried to tone down the long-standing disputes and struck a more positive tone on fields of cooperation.

India's National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon said on Thursday that India and China have found a way to manage their differences over "the most complicated and difficult" boundary dispute and have decided not to allow it to stand in the way of expanding ties in other areas. "The two countries have found a modus vivendi to deal with the boundary issue and to manage their different approaches to issues where their peripheries overlap," he was quoted by the Times of India.

On their part, Chinese experts said the two countries needed to deepen political trust in order to cooperate better.

"Bilateral relations between China and India have steadily developed since the establishment of diplomatic relations 60 years ago. However, both countries' political trust should still be developed, or else their diplomatic relations would be threatened," Sun Shihai, a South Asia studies expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said. Sun emphasized that China and India should respect and care for each other's safety and core interests. He called on the two Asian giants to abandon "old mindsets" and big power conflicts.

Fu Xiaoqiang, a scholar of South Asia studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said that China and India have more common interests than divergences, and deepening mutual trust served both nations better.

"The two countries should trust each other for their civilians' welfare and safety. Although they have some divergences, they cannot be the obstacles for the development of Sino-Indian relations," he said.

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