China on Wednesday said it wants to enhance mutual trust with India and move forward their bilateral cooperative partnership as it announced President Pranab Mukherjee’s maiden visit here from May 24.
“This will be the first visit for President Mukherjee to China. It is also one of the high level exchanges between China and India this year,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a media briefing here. “China and India are the major emerging countries and play a major role on the international stage. They have made great contribution for peace and stability in the world,” he said.
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President Xi Jinping’s visit to India in 2014 and Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China last year have marked a “new era” for Sino-Indian relations, Hong said. “We are willing to further enhance mutual trust and mutual beneficial cooperation with India so as to move forward the cooperative partnership between China and India,” he said.
Mukherjee will be visiting China from May 24-27 at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Xi, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. Mukherjee, the first Indian president to visit China after his predecessor Pratibha Patil’s trip in 2010, will arrive in the highly industrialised Chinese city Guangzhou on May 24. The city has strong business links with India.
Besides interacting with the Indian community, which has over 3,000 businessmen, Mukherjee will also address India- China Business Forum to highlight the investment opportunities in India.
Top Chinese officials of the province are expected to attend the event. A number of Indian and Chinese businessmen are also expected to take part in the event, sources said. Later, Mukherjee will arrive in Beijing on May 25 and attend a reception hosted by The Chinese People’s Friendship Association for Foreign Countries (CPAFFC).
On May 26, he will address a meeting at the Peking University and later hold talks with Xi and also meet Premier Li Keqiang along with other Chinese leaders before leaving for home on May 27. The visit would set off a series of high-level visits between the two countries as they seek to deepen bilateral engagement despite differences like China’s attempts to block India’s bid at the UN to get JeM chief Masood Azhar banned.
The President’s tour, which is a reciprocal visit to Xi’s trip to India in 2014, will be followed by Modi’s visit to the Chinese city of Hangzhou to take part in the G20 leaders summit to be held on September 4 and 5 this year. Xi is expected to travel to India to take part in the Brazil, Russia, India, China, South Africa (BRICS) summit scheduled to be held in Goa from October 15-16. Modi had made a high-profile visit to China last year.