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A chance to boost ties

Indian PM's visit to China would go a long way in providing New Delhi and Beijing, an opportunity to seek common ground, says a veteran Chinese media expert.

india Updated: Jun 20, 2003 11:54 IST

The upcoming visit of Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to China would provide New Delhi and Beijing, joint enunciators of Panchsheel, an opportunity to put aside their differences and seek common ground and further step up bilateral ties, a veteran Chinese media expert has said.

"The upcoming visit by Prime Minister Vajpayee would be a historical progress in our bilateral ties," All-China Journalists Association president Shao Huaze said in an interview, ahead of Vajpayee's official visit to China from June 22 to 27 at the invitation of Chinese premier Wen Jiabao.

"We have had some disputes in the 1960s and differences in the past. Now the time has come to put aside the differences and look to the future so as to further step up our good neighbourly relations based on the five principles of peaceful co-existence, which we jointly enunciated in the 50's".

Shao, who recently visited India as guest of external affairs ministry, noted with satisfaction that bilateral ties between the two Asian giants have developed "smoothly" in recent years and that Defence Minister George Fernandes also paid a successful visit to China in April.

Shao, who was concurrently editor-in-chief and president of the "People's Daily", the leading Chinese official newspaper, expressed confidence that Vajpayee's visit and talks with the new Chinese leadership would impart further impetus to the good neighbourly friendship between the two ancient civilisations.

"I am sure the upcoming visit of Prime Minister Vajpayee to china will be a significant milestone in our bilateral ties and would provide further impetus to the all round development in the new century," Shao, who just released an exclusive photo album on India said.

Commenting on his 105-page photo album on India, Shao, who is also honorary president of China Journalist Photography Society, said that this was the first time in his long career that he has published a book only devoted to pictures taken from one country (India).

Shao's photographs were first exhibited here at a function organised by the Indian embassy to mark the republic day this year.

In his preface to Shao Huaze's photo album, ambassador of India to china, Shivshankar Menon noted that as two great neighbours and as inheritors of continuous civilisational traditions, India and China are today increasing understanding and building a forward-looking relationship.

"This book will contribute to increased mutual appreciation between the peoples of our two countries," Menon wrote.

"I am confident that this book will bring great pleasure to our Chinese and Indian friends. For our Indian friends, it will be a reminder of home. For our Chinese friends, I hope it serves as an introduction to our country which also tempts them to visit India," he said.

First Published: Jun 13, 2003 11:39 IST