Li Peng Calls for Joint Efforts to Develop Sino-Indian Relations

Visiting Chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC) of China Li Peng Saturday called for joint efforts to further promote and develop friendly relations between China and India.

In separate meetings with leaders of Indo-China friendship associations and business organizations, Li said he came to the South Asian country with friendship from China.

The Chinese leader, who started his week-long official goodwill visit to India on Tuesday, said that he has experienced a profound friendship between the two peoples.

To maintain and further develop the existing relations between the two countries, Li said, it is necessary for the two governments, parliaments and political parties as well as non- governmental organizations to make joint efforts.

Describing the leaders of the friendship organizations as friendship envoys of Sino-Indian relations, Li expressed his hope that they make unremitting efforts to bring "a constructive and cooperative partnership" of the two countries to the 21st century.

Li also urged them to ensure that more younger people take part in the friendship cause and make it pass on from generation to generation.

While meeting the Indian businesspeople, Li listened to their suggestions on bilateral cooperation in fields of infrastructure, information industry, tourism and medicine.

He said that trade between the two countries had increased by 10 times in the past decade, saying that the encouraging trend should be maintained because there still exists vast potential for further development.

At present, Li said, the trade volume between the two neighbors are far from big and does not match their status as big countries, adding, however, the existing level of foreign trade had laid a firm foundation for a further development.

He also said that China is about to become a member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and it would surely open wider to the outside world after its entry into the WTO.

Li noted that China and India are complementary in technological cooperation with their comprehensive industrial systems built in the last 50 years and their economic growth rates, which have been among the fastest in the world in recent years in the course of economic reforms.

Further improvement of political relations between Beijing and New Delhi would accelerate the economic and trade relations between the two countries, Li believed.

The NPC chairman invited the Indian association leaders and businesspeople to visit China, as such contacts would serve to enhance bilateral friendly relations between the two countries.

People's Daily Online ---