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China announces Indian PM’s visit

By Xinhua

Beijing : Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will pay an official visit to China from Jan 13 to 15, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu announced Thursday.

Singh’s China tour is at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Jiang told a regular press conference.

Jiang said China “warmly welcomes and attaches great importance” to Manmohan Singh’s visit.

She added that China hopes the trip will also “enhance the friendship between the two peoples, expand bilateral mutually beneficial cooperation in various fields and promote the long-term, healthy and stable advancement of China-India strategic and cooperative partnership”.

Jiang noted that Sino-Indian relations were seeing “sound development”.

Last year, the two countries jointly held the China-India Tourism Year, conducted frequent high-level exchanges, and enhanced bilateral cooperation in various fields.

The two sides also carried out “sound bilateral coordination in dealing with international affairs”, Jiang said.

Bilateral trade from January to November 2007 topped $34.2 billion, a year-on-year increase of 54 percent, the official added.

China and India, as the world’s two largest developing countries, were faced with common mission for development and both were committed to promoting world and regional peace and stability, Jiang said.

China was willing to make joint efforts with India to push the bilateral strategic and cooperative partnership to a new stage.

On their lingering border dispute, Jiang said the Chinese and Indian special representatives met thrice in 2007 and had helpful discussions.

She added that China hoped to make further efforts together with India to strive for a mutually acceptable, fair and reasonable solution as soon as possible.