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Chinese premier starts official visit to India in maiden foreign tour (2)

Xinhua)  08:47, May 20, 2013  

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R, front) arrives at an airport in New Delhi, India, kicking off an official visit to the country, on May 19, 2013. (Xinhua/Ma Zhancheng)

The choice of India as the first stop of Li's maiden foreign tour indicates the great importance Beijing attaches to its relations with India.

The Chinese Foreign Ministry said China hoped the visit could further cement the strategic cooperative partnership between the two countries, strengthen cooperation in such fields as investment, trade and infrastructure, explore complementary advantages, and achieve mutually beneficial results.

China also wants to strengthen communication and coordination with India on international and regional affairs, so as to make greater contribution to peace and stability in the region and the world as a whole, it said.

Li told an India youth delegation on Wednesday that "China and India are important neighbors and partners by nature. Bilateral ties are developing continuously and steadily with fruitful results being made in the cooperation of every field."

The China-India relationship is not only of great strategic significance to Asia and the world, but also concerns the destiny and interests of the two countries' combined population of 2.5 billion, Li told the delegation.

Shortly after Li became premier, Singh congratulated him over the phone. During the conversation, Li said China would, as always, attach great importance to its relations with India and would work with India to further promote their strategic cooperative partnership.

Bilateral trade between China and India has grown strongly in recent years, with a total volume reaching 66.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2012.

China has become India's second largest trade partner and India is China's largest trade 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.

China and India are enjoying sound project cooperation, with India becoming an important market for China in this field. Two-way investment is also steadily increasing.

After India, Li will visit Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany.

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(Editor:HuangBeibei、Liang Jun)


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