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Chinese President Hu Jintao Meets with Indian Prime Minister Singh

On July 8, 2008, Chinese President Hu Jintao met with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in Sapporo, capital of Japan's Hokkaido prefecture.

During the talks, President Hu first expressed heartfelt thanks to the Indian government and leaders for their sympathy and material assistance to China's quake-hit southwestern Sichuan province. Hu pointed out that the devastating earthquake caused serious losses and posed great difficulties in relief efforts. "We believe that we will surely win an overall victory in relief work and help those affected rebuild their homes with the potent support of the international community including India and with the united and persistent efforts of the Chinese people, "said Hu.

Singh expressed condolences and sympathy over the huge casualties and property losses caused by the earthquake and appreciated the Chinese government's swift and effective relief actions. He expressed belief that the Chinese government and people are fully capable of rebuilding their homes in the quake-hit region. India is ready to continue offering assistance to the Chinese side, he added.

Hu also offered condolences to the family of the victims and those injured during a bomb attack at the Indian embassy in Afghanistan on July 7, for which Singh expressed gratitude.

President Hu said that China-India relations are in the best period and are facing a rare opportunity for development. China is willing to work with the Indian side to promote cooperation and exchanges in various fields, continuously enrich the China-India strategic cooperative partnership, and advance the stable, sound and long-term development of bilateral relations, said Hu.

The world today is undergoing major changes and adjustments, featuring the rise of key developing countries such as China and India, which is an irreversible trend, Hu said. As major developing countries, China and India bear the common tasks of developing economy, improving people's livelihood, safeguarding world peace, and promoting common development, Hu added. The two nations are also faced with common challenges and share identical or similar positions and proposals on issues including climate change, energy and food security, and the Doha round of the World Trade Organization talks. Hu said that China is ready to strengthen contact and coordination with India to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of developing countries in a bid to achieve common development.

Hu emphasized that both China and India are important countries of Asia and their good-neighborly friendship, mutually beneficial cooperation and common development not only benefit the 2. 4 billion people of the two countries and will also have significant impact on peace and development of Asia and the world at large. The two neighbors should strengthen cooperation on major international and regional issues from a global and strategic perspective, so as to create together a regional environment of peace and stability, equality and mutual trust, and win-win cooperation. The cooperation would also help build a harmonious world of lasting peace and common prosperity, said the Chinese president.

Singh, for his part, said that India and China are strategic partners and that promoting friendly and cooperative relations with China is the consensus of the Indian government and people. The two sides have witnessed rapid growth in economic and trade cooperation during the past several years, conducted satisfactory exchanges in areas of defense and security, and made consultations and cooperation in global and regional issues like climate change and food prices, said Singh. The Indian government and people attach great importance to the development of bilateral ties and hope to continue advancing bilateral friendly relations and cooperation in all areas and strengthen cooperation in international affairs so as to bring benefits to both peoples and contribute to world peace and stability.

On the demarcation of borders between the two countries, Hu expressed hope that the two sides should work out at an early date a fair and just solution acceptable to both sides, in the spirit of peace and friendship, consultation on an equal footing, and mutual respect and understanding. He suggested the two sides make joint efforts to preserve peace and tranquility in the border areas before a final resolution is achieved.

Noting the important headway already made, Singh said the two countries have set forth the political guiding principles on resolving the border issue and maintained peace and tranquility in the border areas. He also expressed hope that the two sides should continue to facilitate the process.

The 2008 Beijing Olympic Games is scheduled to open in a month's time. Hu said that the 2008 Beijing Olympics is a grand sports event for Asia as well as for the world at large. It has drawn wide attention and has rallied broad support from the international community, said Hu. He said with the support from the international community including India, China will certainly host a unique and high-standard Olympic Games. He expected outstanding performance of the Indian athletes at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. Singh said that as an Asian country, India is delighted to see the achievement made by China. He wished the historic Beijing Olympics an enormous success.

Ling Jihua, member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee (CPCCC) and Director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee, Wang Huning, member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee (CPCCC) and Director of the Policy Research Office of the CPC Central Committee, and State Councilor Dai Bingguo attended the meeting.

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