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'China, India will make 'new progress' in 2007'

Chinese FM says the two Asain giants made "important progress" in 2006 and will scale new heights in 2007.

india Updated: Dec 31, 2006 15:51 IST

Sino-Indian strategic ties registered "important progress" in 2006 and the two Asian giants, often described as the dragon and the elephant, will make "new progress" and dance together in 2007 to a "harmonious" tune, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said in Beijing on Sunday.

"In 2006, China-India relations have continued to grow in all fields, with important progress made in various areas of cooperation," Li said in Beijing as curtains fell on the joint celebrations of 2006 as the 'Year of India-China Friendship'. "The Friendship Year celebrations have, as expected, increased mutual understanding, promoted exchanges and deepened friendship. The Friendship Year will be a new starting point for building enduring friendship between our two peoples," Li commented.

"Both China and India are major developing countries and important countries in Asia. China-India relations have gone well beyond the bilateral context and acquired global dimension in importance," he said.

"We are prepared to work with India to fully implement the important agreement reached by our leaders and strengthen the China-India strategic and cooperative partnership," he said.

"In the new year, China-India relations will surely make new progress and our two countries, often referred to as dragon and elephant, will dance to a harmonious tune," Li stressed, allaying pessimistic forecasts by pundits that India and China are bound to clash.

First Published: Dec 31, 2006 15:51 IST