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Ahead of his first meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping has said taking bilateral ties to a “new high” is a priority for his government, as he sought India’s support to build a regional economic corridor.
Xi told Vice President Hamid Ansari during their meeting yesterday that China sees India as an important partner and improving ties with New Delhi is priority in China’s diplomacy.
China is ready to work with India’s new government to push their cooperation to a new high, Xi was quoted by state-run Xinhua news agency as telling Ansari.
The Vice President returned to India last night after a five-day visit to China during which he held bilateralmeetings with Xi, Premier Li Keqiang and Chinese Vice President I Yuanchao.
Meeting three top Chinese leaders was a rare honour for a Vice President.
Xi called on the two countries to strengthen communication between their political parties, legislatures and local governments, so as to deepen mutual understanding and trust.
The two sides should cooperate to promote the construction of an economic corridor running through China, Bangladesh, Myanmar and India, to bring along regional development, Xi said.
He also called on the two countries to take an overall long-term perspective and properly handle their disputes.
Xi’s talks with Ansari focussed on the Chinese President’s forthcoming meeting with Modi on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in Brazil this month which in turn would pave the way for his visit to New Delhi this year, officials said.
Ansari’s talks with Chinese leaders is a prelude to the Modi-Xi meeting in Brazil, they said.
By the time the Chinese President visits India, the Chinese firms’ plans to open industrial parks in the country to step up investments were expected to be finalised.
The new Indian government is weighing options to go for high speed trains on some routes either with Japanese or Chinese cooperation.
Commenting on Ansari’s visit, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, Hong Lei told a media briefing here today that “we believe this visit is of great significance to promote friendly cooperation and peaceful coexistence between China and India.”
He recalled Ansari’s remarks to Chinese leaders, stating that India paid high attention to its relations with China, abiding by Panchsheel, the five principles of peaceful coexistence, and handling disputes carefully to achieve new development.