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Chinese premier starts official visit to India in maiden foreign tour

Xinhua)  08:43, May 20, 2013  

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

NEW DELHI, May 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived here Sunday afternoon for the first leg of his maiden foreign trip since he took office in March.

During his visit, Li will meet Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, President Pranab Mukherjee and Hamid Ansari, Chairman of Rajya Sabha (the Upper House) of India's Parliament and Vice President.

He is also expected to deliver a speech on China-India ties and visit India's commercial capital, Mumbai.

The two countries will sign a series of agreements on cooperation in trade, agriculture, environmental protection and culture.

In a written statement issued upon his arrival, Li extended sincere greetings and best wishes to the Indian government and the 1.2 billion Indian people on behalf of the Chinese government and the 1.3 billion Chinese people.

China and India are friendly neighbors linked by mountains and rivers, said the Chinese premier, hailing the development of bilateral relations since the two countries established diplomatic ties in 1950.

In the 21st century, political exchanges between the two countries are getting more frequent and practical cooperation is expanding, Li said.

Nowadays, both China and India are speeding up their development, making steady efforts to boost their economy and improve people's lives, and sharing deepening convergence of interests, he added.

Cooperation between China and India means that the two great civilizations can learn from each other, the two major markets complement each other, the two major emerging economies fulfill common development, and the two neighboring countries achieve mutual benefit and win-win results, according to the statement.

It is in line with the fundamental interests of the two countries and the two peoples that China and India maintain peaceful and friendly relations and join hands to realize national rejuvenation, the Chinese premier said, adding it is also a blessing to Asia and the world at large.

China regarded India as an important partner and friend, he said.

"I am looking forward to exchanging views with Indian leaders on bilateral ties and regional and global issues of common concern," Li added.

Li also expressed confidence that his visit would strengthen mutual trust, deepen cooperation, expand common interests and consolidate bilateral friendship, which would inject new vigor into the China-India strategic cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity.

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(Editor:HuangBeibei、Liang Jun)


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