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UPDATED: 11:24, June 28, 2004
China, India exchange congratulations on "Five Principles" anniversary
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Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Indian counterpart, Abdul Kalam, exchanged congratulations Monday on the 50th anniversary of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.

The formation of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, initiated jointly by China and India 50 years ago, was a pioneering effort in the 20th-century history of international relations and an important contribution to the cause of peace and development of the humanity, Hu said in his congratulatory message to Kalam.

Over half a century, the Five Principles has withstood the test of history, won extensive recognition from the international community, and become a major set of norms governing state-to-state relations. At present, the Five Principles is still of tremendous relevance as a guide for action for world peace and common development, said the Chinese president.

Jointly developing and deepening the long-term constructive and cooperative partnership between China and India on the Five Principles conforms to the fundamental interests of the two peoples and will continuously contribute to peace, stability and development in Asia and the entire world, he stressed.

"China will firmly pursue the independent foreign policy of peace, forge and develop friendship and partnership with neighbors and remain committed to the good-neighborly and friendly relations and mutually-beneficial cooperation with surrounding countries," Hu said.

He stated that China would like to make joint efforts with all other countries including India to continuously enrich and carry forward the spirit of the Five Principles so as to make fresh contributions to human peace and progress.

Kalam, in his congratulatory telegram to Hu, said that the Five Principles has not only become an integral part of the two nations' foreign policies, but also been widely accepted by the international community.

Thanks to the vision of the two states' leaders, the relevance of the Five Principles has endured the passage of time and the dramatic changes in the international scene and showed the world the path to universal peace and harmony, he noted.

He said the Five Principles has been part of the important guiding principles of the Indian-Chinese ties and will continue to play an important role in the future.

"On this historic occasion, I wish to reiterate that in the years to come, we shall endeavor to maintain, and indeed accelerate the steady growth of friendship and cooperation between our two countries," Kalam stated in the message.

On the same day, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also exchanged congratulations on the anniversary.

In his message to Singh, Wen said the Five Principles is a political foundation for China-India relations and a fundamental guarantee for the relations to progress healthily and steadily.

The Chinese government, Wen said, highly values its good-neighborly relations and friendship with India and is ready to work together with the Indian side to further enhance the mutual understanding and trust, reinforce exchanges and cooperation in various fields and properly handle and resolve the issues left over by history so as to continuously add new strength to the bilateral relationship.

"I'm convinced that, through the concerted efforts of both sides, there will be an even brighter future for the long-term constructive and cooperative partnership between China and India," he said in the message.

Singh, for his part, also emphasized that the Five Principles will always serve as an important guiding principle of the India-China relations.

India will remain committed to expanding and diversifying its relations with China and to further developing the bilateral long-term constructive and cooperative partnership, he said.

India also looks forward to working with China in regional and global forums for peace, stability and development in Asia and the world, Singh stated.

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