Chinese and Indian prime ministers have "vowed" to "eliminate the disturbance" in bilateral ties and to improve relations, according to official Chinese media in Beijing.
Noting that in the meeting between Wen Jiabao and Manmohan Singh on the sidelines of the East Asia summit in Bali in Indonesia, differences over the South China Sea had figured prominently, the media said Beijing would make efforts with New Delhi to eliminate such differences.
"China would like to make efforts with India to eliminate disturbance and stick to the path of friendship, mutual trust and cooperation," the state-run China Daily quoted Wen telling Singh during their 55-minute-long meeting yesterday.
The daily said the meeting between the two leaders came a few weeks after Beijing and New Delhi quarrelled over India's overseas oil exploration in the South China Sea (blocks claimed by Vietnam), and quoted Singh as telling Wen that despite differences, India was committed to developing the "best of relations" with China.
"We are neighbours and also large, growing economies of Asia. We should cooperate bilaterally and globally," Singh was quoted as saying and had conveyed to the Chinese leader that "there are enough areas where India and China can enhance cooperation." The daily also carried comments by Sanjay Singh, Secretary East Asia of the external affairs ministry that on the South China Sea dispute Manmohan Singh has argued that Indian explorations of oil and gas deposits were purely commercial and the issue of sovereignty should be resolved according to international law and practice.
But, the official Xinhua news agency said that though Beijing always cherished its bilateral ties with India, "China's goodwill can by no means be interpreted as a desperate outreach to endear India and other neighbours at any cost." Xinhua report also quoted Wen telling Singh that he was confident China and India would have better cooperation in the future.
Wen called on both countries to create more favourable conditions for free circulation of goods, technology, capital and services, to encourage two-way investment and cooperation in projects contracting, so as to make more benefits for companies and peoples of the two countries, it said.