Beijing supports bigger role for India globally: Chinese minister


New Delhi: China Saturday said it supported a bigger role for India on the world stage even as the two countries ended two-days of border talks here, pledging to maintain “peace and tranquility” on the frontier till the long-pending dispute is settled.

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“China takes a positive view of India’s development and progress, and also supports a bigger role for India in international affairs,” an external affairs ministry statement quoted China’s State Counselor and Vice Minister for Foreign Affairs Dai Bingguo as saying.

Dao had led the Chinese delegation at the two-day border talks with India that concluded here Saturday. National Security Adviser (NSA) M.K. Narayanan had led the Indian delegation.

“On the boundary question, both sides expressed satisfaction at the progress being made through the Special Representatives mechanism and reiterated that pending the settlement of the boundary issue, peace and tranquility should be maintained in our border areas,” the statement said.

“The talks were held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere,” the statement added.

During his visit, Dai called on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

“He conveyed the greetings of President Hu Jintao and also handed over a written message of greetings from Premier Wen Jiabao to the prime minister,” the statement said.

Besides Narayanan, the Indian delegation at the 13th round of boundary talks included Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, a former ambassador to Beijing, and officials of the external affairs ministry and the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO).

The Chinese delegation also had Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei and officials of the defence ministry and department of boundary and ocean affairs.

Dai’s visit to India was the first high-level visit from China after the UPA formed a new government in May after winning the general elections.

“Apart from the boundary issue, discussions covered a broad agenda which included the entire gamut of bilateral relations and regional and international issues of mutual interest,” the statement said.

Describing relations with China as a key foreign policy priority for India, Narayanan said that the joint document on a “Shared Vision for the 21st Century” signed during Manmohan Singh’s visit to China in January 2008 had taken bilateral relations to a new level.

There has been a significant expansion in bilateral cooperation in areas such as trade and investment, defence, culture, education and people-to-people exchanges, Narayanan added.

Reciprocating the sentiments, Dai referred to the rapid growth witnessed in bilateral relations in recent years.

Highlighting the importance of ongoing consultations and coordination between the two countries at multilateral fora, he expressed the hope that the two countries will jointly meet global challenges in the spirit of the Shared Vision.

“Both sides noted that the Strategic and Cooperative Partnership established between India and China in 2005 was a major milestone in the relationship and reiterated the commitment of both countries to consolidate this Partnership in all fields in a comprehensive way,” the statement said.