Beijing: India and China on Monday discussed new
ideas aimed at taking forward the bilateral ties keeping in
view mutual concerns and interests, as Beijing sought a
"healthy, stable and dynamic" relationship with far-reaching
significance to the two nations, Asia and the world at large.
National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon, who is here
on a 4-day visit as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's Special
Envoy, called on Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao at Zhongnanhai,
the sprawling leadership compound next to the Forbidden City.
Wen warmly received Menon and appreciated Singh's
commitment to the improvement of bilateral ties during their
40-minute meeting, a day ahead of the scheduled visit of
President Asif Ali Zardari here against the backdrop of
concerns expressed by India and the US over China's plans to
build two new nuclear reactors for Pakistan without NSG's nod.
Menon handed over a letter from Singh, saying that the
Prime Minister especially sent him with a personal message of
friendship and his greetings and warm personal regards.
"For us in India the relationship with People's Republic
of China is one of the most important that we have," Menon
Wen, on his part, said that "a healthy, stable and
dynamic China-India relationship is of far-reaching
significance to the two nations, Asia and the whole world at
"China regards India as an important strategic partner of
cooperation. We will work with India to maintain high-level
visits and take care of each other's core interests and major
concerns," state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Wen as telling
He pledged to enhance dialogue and cooperation with India
to benefit the two peoples and make joint efforts to promote
world peace and common prosperity. Wen also extended greetings
to UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Menon said both India and China have developed rapidly in
recent years and the two nations have established a strategic
partnership of cooperation, with increasing mutual trust.
He said this has laid a sound foundation for
strengthening bilateral cooperation.
With the world going through an important development
phase, both India and China should take bigger role in
directing its course, Menon said.
India would work with China to jointly make development
planning and create new situations for the growth of bilateral
ties, he noted.
Wen told Menon that Singh had sent an "important and
timely message" last year for the improvement of ties.
"This time you brought another personal letter from the
Prime Minister" expressing similar sentiments, he said. "We
highly appreciate his commitment to this relationship."
Wen also praised Menon's contribution to the improvement
of Sino-India relations, recalling the days when he was
India's Ambassador here.
"Menon, you are a Sinologist. You have long experience
working in China and you have made great contribution to
pushing forward friendly relationship between our two
countries. I warmly welcome you to China," he said.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, who held lengthy
preparatory talks with Menon yesterday on a host of issues,
was also present during today's meeting.
Commenting on Wen-Menon talks, officials here said the
two sides discussed "a way forward" in their relations. They
had an exchange of views on various aspects.
Premier Wen shared his ideas on how to take the
relationship forward and emphasised that the ties went beyond
the bilateral scope.
"It will be Asia's century if India and China have strong
relationship," he told Menon.
During the meeting, Wen hailed 60 years of diplomatic
ties between China and India, saying that the bilateral
relationship has matured well, with deepening mutual political
trust and remarkable achievements in cooperation in various
The two countries have also reached important agreements
and made sound coordination in coping with the international
financial crisis, climate change and other major issues, Wen
He said China and India, as neighbours and large
developing nations with largest populations, enjoyed not only
profound historical and cultural origins but also broad common
The National Security Adviser later held talks with State
Councillor Dai Bingguo, who is also China's Special
Representative in boundary talks with India.
From the Indian side, Menon is the designated official to
hammer out an agreement to resolve differences over
demarcation of the Sino-India border.
However, this time Menon arrived here two days ago as
Singh's Special Envoy to discuss a gamut of issues that
weighed in India's mind to push the relationship forward.
Among such concerns were the continuation of close
military and strategic ties between the Pakistani army and
People's Liberation Army (PLA) and China's decision to build
two 650 MW nuclear plants for Islamabad.
China too has expressed its concerns in the past over the
growing India-US strategic ties.
Dai later hosted a banquet in honour of Menon.
First Published: Monday, July 05, 2010, 21:47