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Patil in China; to push for trade
Published on 26 May. 2010 11:42 PM IST
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President Pratibha Patil arrived on a six-day trip to China Wednesday at a time when the two Asian giants are marking the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations that have lately been scarred by distrust, perceptional differences and border tensions.
Patil will meet her Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao, inaugurate an Indian-style Buddhist temple and also visit the Shanghai World Expo. She will also take up the issue of China’s support to New Delhi’s claim for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council. She will be joined by a 60-strong business delegation - an indicator of the strong business dimension of the ties - comprising members of the three apex chambers of India. Besides Beijing, she will visit Shanghai and Luoyang.
The president will meet Hu Thursday. She will also meet top Chinese leaders, including National People’s Congress Chairman Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao.
Patil, who reached here around 6 p.m. Wednesday, was received at the airport by Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue. Indian Ambassador S. Jaishankar was also present.
Greeted by children wearing red jackets and white trousers and Chinese soldiers in blue, green and white, Patil told mediapersons that the India-China relationship is a wider one between two larger neighbours and two emerging powers that could contribute to regional peace, stability and prosperity.
Asked if she would discuss a seat for India in the Security Council with Hu, she said: “I think so.”
“We hope India will be considered,” Patil told reporters earlier onboard Air India One.
“We have strategic and cooperative partnership. We have also attained multi-pronged strategy for cooperation. We also have a shared vision for the 21st century,” she said.
On unresolved border issues that have often led to tensions between the neighbours, she said: “We seek fair and reasonable mutual settlement of this question. A framework has been put in place. There are special representatives from both the sides. We need to find solutions for such situation. There should be peace and tranquility in China border areas.”
Reading out from a written statement, she said: “My visit to China is aimed at enhancing trust, friendship and understanding between our two governments and our two peoples. It will deepen and expand the areas of our cooperation and thereby cement the partnership between our two countries.”
She added that the partnership between the two countries includes trade and investment, culture and arts, science and technology and people-to-people exchanges.
Patil also hoped that her visit will also give a fillip to business between the two Asian giants. “The two countries are working together to achieve the bilateral trade target of $60 billion in 2010.”
Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, who is accompanying Patil, told reporters in New Delhi that the two countries sought to go beyond unresolved issues like the border and look at the wider dimension of their multi-faceted relationship that is the focus of global attention.
A highlight of her visit will be in Luoyang in Henan province, where she is scheduled to dedicate to the Chinese people an Indian-style Buddhist temple that was inspired by the Sanchi Stupa in Madhya Pradesh.
At the Shanghai World Expo, a six-month event that kicked off April 30, Patil will visit the India pavilion that has become a hot spot with 25,000 visitors thronging the stalls of handicrafts and cuisine every day and jiving to Bollywood songs.
In Shanghai, the president will also inaugurate a statue of Nobel Laureaute Rabindranath Tagore who visited the city in 1924.

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