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|Saturday, January 13, 2001, updated at 20:41(GMT+8)|
Every Country Has Sovereign Right to Choose Path of Development: India's IPU PresidentIt was the sovereign right of each country to choose its own path of development, Najma Heptulla, current president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and deputy speaker of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of Indian parliament, said Saturday, January 13.
In a reply to a speech delivered at the International Center by visiting Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People 's Congress (NPC) of China Li Peng, Heptulla said the ensuing globalization should have brought the economic interests of the nations together. Though there was a greater sharing of knowledge and information due to progress in information technology, there was not much emergence of cooperation on the economic issues between the countries, she said.
However, she said, reeling under the massive debt burden, developing countries still remain at the receiving end.
Trade was still not free. The new trade regime had not opened up markets for the newer entrants into globalization. It has largely remained a one-way traffic where developing countries had been asked to open their markets, the IPU president told the visiting Chinese leader.
"We need to underline that peace and justice have always been the underlying moorings of all the cultures and are the natural characteristics of all the societies," Heptulla said.
On Indo-China relations, she said, historically India and China had shared close cultural interaction, and for ages there had been a close people-to-people contact between the two neighbors.
"We must further strengthen the interaction and dialogue between our two cultures," said Heptulla, adding that India and China "can become a model of dialogue" for the rest of the world, which would help promote understanding, friendship and further enhance the cooperation.
She concluded that Li's visit to her country had opened new possibilities of association and interaction between the two peoples and New Delhi desired to have friendly relations with Beijing based on the trusted Five Principles of peaceful coexistence.
In his address at the International center, Li Peng called for deepening understanding, fostering friendship and strengthening cooperation between China and India.
He began his speech with an extension of his cordial greetings to Indian friends, who, over the years, cared for friendly relations and cooperation between China and India sent his best wishes to the industrious and the talented Indian people.
"As history turns a new page, people around the world are reviewing the past and looking to the future," Li said, adding that India's independence and China's liberation were two epic achievements of the past century, during which mankind created unprecedented civilizations and enjoyed fast growth of social productive forces driven by revolution of science and technology.
He told over 300 people from the Indian parliament, Indo-China friendship associations and political parties that there were two prominent trends in the world: one is the gradual multi- polarization in the international political pattern, and the other is the increasing globalization of the world economy.
The major task facing the people of the world was to promote the process of multi-polarity for world peace and ride the tide of globalization for common development so that a just and fair international new political and economic order could be established in the new century, said Li, who arrived in the South Asian country Tuesday for a week-long official visit.
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