2nd LD Writethru: Xi says China-India relations at new starting point

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BEIJING, April 1 (Xinhua) -- China-India relations are standing at a new starting point and facing new opportunities, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Wednesday when exchanging congratulatory messages with his Indian counterpart, Ram Nath Kovind, on the 70th anniversary of bilateral diplomatic ties.

In his message, Xi said China-India relations have experienced extraordinary development during the past 70 years. With joint efforts of both sides, the two countries have established a strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity, and are endeavoring to build an even closer partnership of development, he added.

The two sides enjoy increasingly deepening bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields, and constantly improving coordination on important regional and international affairs, he said.

Xi said he attaches great importance to the development of bilateral relations and is willing to work with President Kovind to elevate China-India ties to a higher level, so as to bring more benefits to the two countries and peoples and contribute more positive energy to Asia as well as the world.

Kovind, in his message, said India-China relations have achieved substantive development in the past 70 years, with bilateral linkages increasingly strengthened in such fields as politics, economy and people-to-people exchanges.

India and China are neighboring countries, and both are ancient civilizations and major emerging economies, Kovind said, adding that keeping a good relationship is in line with both countries' interests and of great importance to regional and even global peace and prosperity.

The Indian side is ready to work with China to expand and deepen their closer partnership of development, Kovind added.

On the same day, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also exchanged congratulatory messages.

In his message, Li said that friendly cooperation of mutual benefit between China and India accords with the fundamental interests of both countries and their people, and also benefits Asia and the world.

China is willing to work with India, taking the 70th anniversary as an opportunity, to continue to push for new achievements in their strategic and cooperative partnership, he said.

For his part, Modi said that over the past 70 years, bilateral relations in such areas as politics, economy and people-to-people exchanges have achieved stable development.

He added that the two countries should strengthen coordination and solidarity and address global challenges together. Enditem

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