China's Top Legislator Holds Talks with Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari

Li Peng Holds Talks with Indian PM Atal Bihari
The common grounds shared between China and India are far more than their differences and problems, visiting China's top legislator Li Peng said in New Delhi Monday.

Both China and India share the same aspirations to further improve and develop bilateral relations, said Li, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), China's top legislature, in talks with Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee Monday morning before he left for Bangalore.

The two leaders exchanged their views on the Sino-Indian relations and on the current international situation in a friendly atmosphere.

China has always held that both countries, as the world's largest developing ones, have every reason to be friendly to each other, Li said.

Against the background that the trend of the world multipolarization and economic globalization continues to develop, he went on to say, both nations should further their exchanges and cooperation, and develop the good-neighborly relationship on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Co-Existence, as this is not only in the fundamental interests of the two peoples, but also conducive to world peace, stability and development.

As the two countries have scored new progress in negotiations and contacts on the border issue, he said, they should take advantage of this opportunity to accelerate the process of negotiations and properly resolve this issue through concerted efforts and in accordance with the consensus of mutual understanding and accommodation.

Noting his ongoing visit is to enhance understanding, boost friendship and strengthen cooperation, Li said in the past days he had wide contacts with various walks of life of India and felt deeply the friendly feeling the Indian people develop towards the Chinese people.

He stated that the friendship group has been set up in the Indian parliament and the Chinese NPC will soon form a similar group, as this will benefit exchanges and contacts between the two parliaments.

Li said he has invited more Indian parliamentarians to visit China to increase mutual understanding and trust.

The Indian business circles also hope to expand their cooperation with China in economic, trade, scientific and technological sectors, as they deem the two nations are economically complementary and there exist broad prospects for cooperation, Li added.

The Chines side also takes a positive attitude towards this, Li stressed.

Extending a warm welcome to Li, Vajpayee said the parliamentary leaders have informed him of Li's ongoing visit in India and he congratulated Li on the success of the visit.

Both India and China, as close neighbors, should be friendly to each other, Vajpayee said, adding that on the existing problems, both sides should continue their efforts to seek the reasonable solutions that both sides are satisfied with.

There have been some progress in the border negotiations and the exchange of maps of the actual control line is a positive step, he said.

The prime minister noted that when he visited China in 1979, China's late leader Deng Xiaoping told him that both sides should make concerted efforts to solve the border issue.

The opportunity for solving this issue now has come and both sides should accelerate the process of negotiations, he stressed.

Voicing his agreement with Li's viewpoints of the world multipolarization and economic globalization, Vajpayee said that after the Cold War, the world situation should develop towards the multi-polar direction instead of the monopoly.

The series of problems arising from the economic globalization and the attempt of imposing one format upon many other countries are far from desirable, he said.

Noting that India is a member of the World Trade Organization and China will soon join the organ, Vajpayee said China's presence will enlarge the power of the developing nations in the world's biggest trade organ.

He said he had a high comment on the friendly cooperative relations between the parliaments of the two countries, saying establishment of friendship groups will give impetus to this relationship. He also expressed hope for more exchanges between the parliamentarians.

Li conveyed greetings from Premier Zhu Rongji to Vajpayee, who also asked Li to pass on his best wishes to Zhu.

Present at the talks were Vice-Chairman of the NPC Standing Committee Buhe and Indian Minister of Foreign Affairs Jaswant Singh. It is Li's second visit to India following his first one in 1991 as the premier.

Shortly after the talks, Li and his entourage left New Delhi for Bangalore, the fourth leg of Li's week-long Indian tour. He is scheduled to leave for Beijing on January 17. On his way home, Li is scheduled to make a stop-over in Hyderabad, also a booming city in southern India.

Li started his India tour by flying into Mumbai on January 9, as guest of Chairman Krishan Kant of India's Upper House of the Parliament and Speaker G.M.C. Balayogi of the House of the People.

People's Daily Online ---