Li Peng Calls On Indian President
Li, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, China's top legislature, first conveyed to Narayanan greetings from Chinese President Jiang Zemin.
As an old friend of the Chinese people, President Narayanan has made "precious contributions" to the development of the Sino-Indian friendly ties, Li said, citing the successful visit by the Indian President to China last May.
Also last year, China and India marked the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with each other, and reached important consensus on how to further improve Sino-Indian relations and develop a lasting good-neighborly friendship for the new century, Li noted.
"We highly appreciate Mr. President's efforts in this respect," Li told Narayanan.
Li said that as the two largest developing nations in the world, China and India not only face the same challenge of developing domestic economy and raising the people's living standards, but also share broad consensus in the field of safeguarding world peace and establishing a fair and just new international political and economic order.
"With the arrival of the 21st century, both countries should further enhance cooperation for our own development and prosperity, and also make due contribution to safeguard the interests of various developing nations," Li noted.
Stating that China has always attached great importance to its relations with India and cherished its traditional friendship with the Indian people, Li pointed out that mutual understanding and trust are the common needs of both peoples, and friendship and cooperation between the two countries are a historical necessity.
Describing the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence jointly initiated by China and India as a "major contribution" the two countries have made for the human society, Li said that now statesmen of both countries should also keep to these principles and always take into account the overall situation of bilateral relations.
"We must be far-sighted and overcome difficulties, strive to resolve well some problems left over by history and ensure a sound development of our relationship," he stressed.
Narayanan said that he was very happy to meet Li again in India, and asked Li to bring back to Beijing his greetings to President Jiang.
Recalling his trip to China last year, Narayanan thanked both the Chinese leaders and people for their warm reception. The Indian side feels happy to see that various agreements reached by both sides during that visit are being smoothly implemented, and border talks between the two countries have also achieved new progress, he noted.
The Indian President said that he completely agreed with Li's view on bilateral relations, and stressed that both sides should further increase high-level exchanges and speed up friendly cooperations in various areas, including science and technology and education.
The two sides should appropriately handle existing problems on the basis of increase mutual understanding and adherence to the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-existence, giving a better play to the roles India and China deserve in the world arena, he added.
Speaking positively of the friendly exchange between the two parliaments, Narayanan noted that contacts between parliament members could serve as an effective channel for the two countries to increase mutual understanding and mutual trust.
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