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India anticipates fruitful visit by Chinese premier


10:35, May 19, 2013

As Chinese Premier Li Keqiang is about to pay his first official visit to India, politicians and observers here are expecting that the visit could boost bilateral ties.

"This visit is special because it is the first visit abroad by the Chinese premier since he assumed office in March. The relationship between our two countries are now sound and good," Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid told Xinhua in an interview.

Khurshid believed the two neighboring countries, despite their differences, have a lot in common and should "align their positions in many areas."

"India is ready to write a new chapter of our relationship with China," he added.

The upbeat tone is shared by Sitaram Yechury, a senior leader of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) and a member of the upper house of the Indian parliament.

"This will be a very important visit for India. It will not only strengthen but also multiply the ties between the two countries," said Yechury, noting that the two countries are registering enviable growth rates while many other economies are struggling in recession or slowdown.

"We have ancient bonds as two great civilizations and now we are molding a modern bond marked by economic development and cooperation," he told Xinhua.

Tarun Vijay, a lawmaker and national spokesman for the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party, said that the India-China relationship has over 2,000 years of history and that to improve trust between New Delhi and Beijing is essential for peace and prosperity in both countries.

"We hope the Chinese premier's visit will be successful, as this is his first destination abroad since he became premier," Vijay told Xinhua.

Gen. Ramesh Chopra of the Indian Army made similar remarks, saying that India and China have great common interests in many multilateral platforms such as BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa), the World Trade Organization and the Group of 20.

As for the border disputes, he believed steps could be taken to avoid undesirable incidents while the two sides should continue the work for a final solution.

He also suggested the two countries expand their consultation and collaboration in counter-terrorism efforts and reconstruction in Afghanistan.

In an article published on Indian daily The Tribune, analyst T.V. Rajeswar said Li's forthcoming visit is of considerable importance.

"Li said while interacting with an Indian youth delegation in Beijing that the two countries must shake hands and conduct exchanges so that together we can raise the standing of Asia in the world and truly make the Asian economy an important engine for the world," he said.

"Let's hope that the Chinese premier's visit will truly mark an important phase in India-China relations," he wrote.

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