China, India must grasp fresh opportunities in strategic cooperation: Premier Li

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China and India have vast room for further cooperation and both countries should seize new opportunities to advance their strategic ties, visiting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said here Tuesday.

"China and India are two largest developing countries and emerging markets in the world," Li said in a speech at the Indian Council of World Affairs.

"China-India relations are one of the world's most important bilateral relations in the 21st century," Li said. "Their cooperation has vast room of further development."

Li urged both countries to look forward and seize the new opportunities in their strategic cooperation.

Two-way learning between the world's oldest civilizations will bring new vitality, while the complementation and connection of the world's two major markets will unleash new potential for growth, he said.

The common development of the two giant neighbors will create a new paradigm for cooperation, and the peaceful coexistence of two major developing economies has global significance, Li added.

As two big neighbors with the greatest potential for growth, China and India are natural partners and have far more common interests than differences, Li said.

The two countries have agreed that each should see the other's development as a major opportunity for itself.

They have pledged to work together to write a new chapter of their bilateral relations, nurture new bright spots in cooperation among Asian countries and create a new engine for the world economy, said the Chinese premier.

It is a blessing to Asia and the world that China and India will join hands in their development, Li said.

The Chinese premier spoke highly of the broad strategic consensus reached during his visit and deepened strategic mutual trust.

"The fact that both countries have put their concerns on the table shows the sincerity of both sides toward their relationship and their wisdom to handle problems," Li said.

China and India can certainly push bilateral ties to a higher level if they maintain a future-oriented attitude, enhance mutual trust, focus on finding a solution to problems and work hard to deepen their cooperation, Li said.

The Chinese premier summarized the fruitful results of his Indian trip aimed at advancing the bilateral strategic cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity.

The two countries have launched new initiatives to advance comprehensive cooperation, identified new ways to combine and complement their markets, explored new measures to promote inter-connectivity between their economies, broadened the scope of cultural and people-to-people exchanges, and strengthened communication and coordination in international and regional affairs.

He pointed out that both sides have also agreed to continue to push forward negotiations on border issues.

Li noted that China's 30-plus years of development and progress have benefited from its policy of peaceful development.

"China will always be a steadfast guardian of world peace. It is ready to work with India and other South Asian countries to take its due responsibility to realize regional peace and development in order to make the Asian continent a place of peace, development and cooperation," said Li.

Li said his country has been sticking to the long-term strategic policy of developing friendly relations with India.

Li called on both sides to always view their relations from a strategic and overall perspective, and firmly establish the principles of not threatening and containing the other and being each other's cooperative partner.

They should also strengthen mutual understanding and trust, and dispel doubts to consolidate the foundation of their strategic and political mutual trust, he said.

China is willing to join efforts with India to constantly inject fresh connotation into their strategic cooperative partnership and lift bilateral cooperation to a higher level.

Li pointed out that the most promising domain in China-India relations is pragmatic cooperation, urging the two sides to make an effective combination of China's westward opening-up and India's Look East policies to promote extensive cooperation and push bilateral trade to new heights.

The two-way trade volume stood at 66.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2012. China is now India's second largest trade partner, while India is China's biggest partner in South Asia. The two sides aim to expand bilateral trade to 100 billion dollars by 2015, a goal set by the two countries' leaders.

The towering mountains cannot stop the Chinese and Indian peoples from admiring and yearning for each other's splendid cultures, Li said, calling on Beijing and New Delhi to boost cultural and people-to-people cooperation at various levels, so that the China-India friendship could pass on from generation to generation.

Li also said China sees India as an important cooperative partner on international affairs, noting that Asia and the world cannot be strong without the cooperation and common development of China and India.

"The world will listen to us if China and India speak with one voice," Li said.

So long as China and India take an overall prospective and cooperate with each other, they can help open up a bright future of development and prosperity for Asia and the world at large, Li concluded.

Li's speech was met by warm applause from an audience of 500 people from all walks of life, among whom were Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid, senior government officials and parliamentarians.

The world-renowned Indian Council of World Affairs was established in 1943 as a think tank. Endi

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