Chinese Premier Wen says his India visit will promote friendship | delhi | Hindustan Times
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Chinese Premier Wen says his India visit will promote friendship

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who arrived in New Delhi today, said he will seek to boost mutual trust and understanding and cement trade and econmomic ties between the two Asian giants during his three days' stay in India. See special| Delhi itinerary | In pics

delhi Updated: Dec 16, 2010 22:20 IST

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, who arrived in New Delhi on Wednesday, said he will seek to boost mutual trust and understanding and cement trade and econmomic ties between the two Asian giants during his three days' stay in India.

"My current visit is aimed at promoting friendship, expanding cooperation, building on our past achievements and opening up new dimensions for mutual benefit and common development of the two countries," Wen said.

"China-India relations face major opportunities and enjoy broad prospects," the Chinese premier, who is in India on an invitation from Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said in a written statement, released on his arrival at noon.

He said the two countries are connected by mountains and rivers and enjoy a traditional friendship dating back more than 2,000 years. This year also marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two neighbors, he added.

Furthering economic ties is particularly high on the agenda of Wen's three-day visit.

The premier is accompanied by some 400 Chinese business leaders, including chiefs of top firms like power equipment major Shanghai Electric, metals refiner SinoSteel and telecom gear giants ZTE and Huewei.

Wen's official entourage includes Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, Communications Minister Li Shenglin, Culture Minister Cai Wu, Director of Research Office Xie Fuzhan, Vice Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng, and Director in the Premier's Office Qiu Xiaoxiong.

Wen will hold official talks with Manmohan Singh on Thursday. The two will also oversee celebrations of the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations. A host of agreements are also on the cards, especially in infrastructure, telecom and energy.

Liang Wenzhao, deputy director of the department of Asian affairs of China's Ministry of Commerce, said bilateral cooperation agreements that are set to be inked Thursday would cover trade, renewable energy, infrastructure and finance.

China is also India's largest trading partner with the value of two-way merchandise exchange rising from $18.7 billion dollars in 2005 to $51.8 billion last year. The Chinese trade office expects this to top $60 billion this year.

See special| Delhi itinerary | In pics