Mutual trust between India, China must for regional peace: Li Keqiang

Ahead of the formal talks with his Indian counterpart, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang on Monday hoped that his visit will lead to increase in mutual strategic trust between the two sides.

New Delhi: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Monday said peace and regional stability cannot be a reality without strategic mutual trust between China and India.

"And likewise the development of prosperity of the world cannot be a reality without the cooperation and simultaneous development of China and India," he said after inspecting a guard of honour at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Li, who was accompanied by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, said he and Singh had "a most productive session" of talks yesterday and he expected "more bountiful results" from further discussions.

"The purpose of my current visit to India is three fold -- to increase mutual trust, to intensify cooperation and to face the future," he said, adding that he hoped that the two sides would increase strategic mutual trust.

PM raises Chinese incursion with Li

In a firm message to China, Dr Singh on Sunday night voiced India`s serious concern over the recent Chinese incursion in Ladakh.

Li, 57, on his first foreign trip since becoming Prime Minister two months ago, met Singh at his official residence along with select number of aides from both sides when they exchanged views on the contentious boundary dispute, trans-border rivers and trade deficit.

Given that the meeting took place about a month after a 19 km deep incursion by the Chinese troops in Depsang valley in Ladakh which was resolved only two weeks ago, the focus was on the stand-off there and Singh conveyed India`s serious concerns over the breach of status quo by China.

He emphasised that maintaining peace and tranquility along the Line of actual Control was essential for good bilateral ties, a point with which Li agreed.

The restricted talks were followed by a dinner which was attended by UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi, Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi, Leader of Opposition Sushma Swaraj, BJP leader Arun Jaitley and CPM general secretary Prakash Karat.

Singh also raised "upfront" other issues of priority interest, including concerns on water flows of trans border rivers, especially in view of construction of three additional dams approved by China on Brahmaputra river.

In today`s world both sides see each other`s development as a major opportunity, the Chinese Premier, who had a "candid" meeting with Singh here last night, said.

Li, who arrived here yesterday on a three-day visit to India, his first foreign tour after assuming charge, said, "On the basis of strategic mutual trust, the two countries have struck a new kind of relationship which could be described as healthy and sound.

"That would be a true message for Asia and the world," he said.

Maintaining that the large markets of the two countries have created enormous potential for growth and prosperity in Asia and the whole world, he said, "China and India have decided to intensify practical cooperation."

He said the two sides will launch China-India regional trading engagement negotiations besides an economic corridor.

"We will support the development of industrial zone in each other`s country so as to support economic growth between them," he said.

Li said another purpose of his visit was to look ahead to the future as Asia is expected to play a more important role in the 21st century.

"Most importantly the consensus that we have reached during this trip is that the seeds that we sow today will keep growing into harbouring trees laden with rich fruits," the Chinese leader said.

He also said that China was looking forward to the Indian Prime Minister`s visit later this year.