Li Keqiang terms his India visit as ‘successful’

It made me feel like I was at home. I really appreciate his (Singh's) arrangements,says Li Keqiang.

Written by PTI | Beijing | Published:May 21, 2013 12:24 pm

Buoyed by the positive vibes from his India trip,Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has termed the visit as “successful”,saying he “felt at home” during talks with his counterpart Manmohan Singh,the state media said today.

“A successful start is halfway to final success,” state-run China Daily quoted him as saying about the first leg of his nine-day foreign to India,Pakistan,Switzerland and Germany.

Li,57,is due to visit Pakistan tomorrow. Terming his talks with Prime Minister Singh as “deep,friendly and frank”,Li said,”It made me feel like I was at home. I really appreciate his (Singh’s) arrangements,” the paper quoted Li as saying about his maiden official visit,27 years after he toured the country as a youth leader.

“The Indian officials confided to their Chinese counterparts that they are fascinated by Li’s sincerity,pragmatism and humour,” it said.His India tour,the first he undertook after becoming Premier in March,was regarded as the most challenging specially due to the border row,the commentary said.

“Despite China and India’s arguments about territory issues and trade imbalances,Premier Li Keqiang’s stop in India during his first overseas trip since he took the office has undoubtedly sent a positive and friendly signal,” a commentary in the state-run China Daily here said. “In response,Li was warmly accepted by his Indian counterpart as well as the Indian people. His visit has been prominent in the headlines of all the country’s major newspapers,” it said.

Also in its second editorial on Li’s visit in as many days,the paper said his visit will create a new chapter in Sino-India relations. “That Li chose New Delhi as the first leg of his first overseas trip as China’s head of government is a strong signal to the outside world that Beijing attaches great importance to its interaction with India,” it said.

“The two largest emerging economies and the two biggest,and largely untapped,markets,have everything to gain if they continue to enhance mutual trust as well as deepen pragmatic cooperation,” it said.

“Li’s visit should drive home the message that both Beijing and New Delhi are making concrete steps in this direction,which is a blessing to the two neighbours and the region at large,” it said.

Li and his Indian counterpart have agreed to jointly develop large-scale cooperation projects,and called for establishing an economic corridor among China,India,Myanmar and Bangladesh.

The initiatives indicate China and India are determined to broaden and deepen their common interests and tap into the potential of each other’s economy,it said.

“The renewed push for solving the border issue shows the two countries’ resolve to properly manage their differences,” it said. “Beijing and New Delhi,with rising clout in regional and world affairs,have good reasons to better coordinate their stances on the multilateral level. With both sides committed to deepening their strategic cooperative partnership,the much-hyped ‘dragon elephant’ rivalry looks set to be replaced with a more harmonious dance of the dragon and elephant,” it said.

Commenting on the visit of the Chinese premier,Long Guoqiang,Director of China’s foreign economic relations at the State Council Development Research Centre,a high-level government think tank,said,”The two countries are more mutually complementary than they are mutually competitive. And nthere is large potential for their cooperation.”

“The proposed China-India-Myanmar-Bangladesh economic corridor would provide an innovative economic link between East Asia and South Asia,which could create huge demand for China and India and strengthen their economic growth,” Long said.

“As the two biggest economies among emerging markets,China-India mutual development based on industrialisation and urbanisation will lead fast expansion of the BRICS countries and drive the recovery of the global economy,” he told the China Daily.

Wang Haifeng,an expert at the Institute of Foreign Economics under the National Development and Reform Commission,said strengthening mutual trust between the two countries will help boost China’s direct investment in Indian infrastructure construction projects,such as railways and airports.

Meanwhile,India’s high-tech and service exports to China are likely to increase. “Mutual trust is also the basis to removing trade friction between the two fast-growing economies. Once the obstacle is cleared,it will be very easy to achieve the goal of USD 100 billion bilateral trade value by the year 2015,” Wang said.

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