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Wen Jiabao Meets with President of the Indian Congress Party Sonia Gandhi

On the evening of April 10, 2005, Premier Wen Jiabao of the State Council met in the hotel in New Delhi where he stayed with President of the Indian Congress Party Sonia Gandhi and held cordial and friendly talks with her on China-India relations.

Wen sang high praise on the successful visit of Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi to China with great courage and perseverance in 1988, enabling a significant step forward in China-India relations. He thanked Madam Gandhi and the Congress Party led by her for always giving priority to developing relations with China and for their important contributions to the development of bilateral relations. He believed that as the leader of Indian Solidarity and Progress League and the president of the Congress Party Madam Gandhi will continue to play a key role in promoting China-India relations.

Wen said the Chinese government attaches importance to developing relations with India and regards it as an important part of China's diplomacy to develop good neighborliness with India. He expressed hope to make headways in the following three aspects through his visit with joint efforts of India. First, to position bilateral relations from a long-term and strategic perspective so as to pave the way for future generations to conduct friendly cooperation. Second, to issue a guideline for the settlement of border issues between the two countries in a bid to lay a foundation for the two sides to find a fair, proper and mutually acceptable solution through consultations on an equal footing on the basis of mutual accommodation and understanding as well as respect for both history and reality. Third, to work out a five-year plan for bilateral economic and trade cooperation in order to tap potential, expand cooperation and speed up the development of bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

Wen noted both China and India boast glorious ancient civilizations and both countries are developing rapidly. To understand and handle China-India relations correctly is not only vital to the two countries, but also significant to the peace and development of Asia and the world at large. Only with the development of both China and India can we have a century of Asia in the real sense. China wishes to see a peaceful and prosperous India. Similarly a peaceful and stable China is also in the interest of India. China would like to work with India to seek common development.

Madam Gandhi expressed warm welcome to Wen upon his visit to India on behalf of the Congress Party. She described the meeting between Indian and Chinese leaders in 1988 as a historic event. Bilateral relations have been developing continuously ever since with the unswerving efforts of both sides. The objectives for this visit proposed by Premier Wen are sincere and demonstrate the determination of both peoples to further enhance India-China friendly cooperation. The two sides are expected to treat each other frankly and make joint efforts to realize those objectives. She wished Premier Wen's visit a complete success.

Later that night, Premier Wen also met with the staff of the Chinese Embassy in India, representatives from Chinese-funded institutions, overseas Chinese in India and Chinese students studying in India.

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