Significant progress made in Sino-Indian ties: China

Beijing: Projecting Sino-India relations in a positive light, China on Tuesday expressed readiness to work with India as "good partners" and "good neighbours" to resolve pending issues like the border dispute.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said "the two countries have maintained high-level contacts and cooperation and exchanges in various fields and made significant progress".

He was responding to a question about Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao's comments in Washington that the relationship between India and China has improved significantly in the last two decades.

"We would like to work with India to make a stronger relationship, becoming good neighbours, good friends and good partners forever," he said.

"Both the countries are committed to bilateral, good neighbourly and friendly relations on issues facing 21 century for common prosperity. China is ready to work with Indian side to enhance our relationship as good partners and good neighbours," Qin said.

On the border issue, he said: "Of course it is inevitable that issues of border disputes remain between us, but the important consensus reached by leaders that is to commit to the political parameters signed and properly handling will ensure peace and stability".

He said pending the resolution of the issues the two countries should ensure the stability of the border area.

"We believe with the development of China-India relations, border issue will be gradually resolved," he said. China and India are neighbours and major developing countries, so enhancing the bilateral relations is conducive to both the countries and also to world peace, the spokesman said.

China and India began to discuss border issues in the 1980s. Two agreements were signed in 1993 and 1996 respectively with an aim of maintaining peace and stability in the border area.

In 2003, the two countries designated special representatives for demarcation work.

In 2005, China and India signed a political guideline on demarcation during Premier Wen Jiabao's visit to India. The two countries also announced a strategic cooperative partnership.