Prez arrives in China on six-day visit

President Pratibha Patil arrived on a six-day trip to China on 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. Ms Patil will meet her Chinese counterpart Mr 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 Mr Hu on Thursday.
She will also meet top Chinese leaders, including National People’s Congress chairman Wu Bangguo and Premier Wen Jiabao. Ms Patil, who reached here around 6 pm on 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, Ms 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 Mr Hu, she said: “I think so.” “We hope India will be considered,” Ms Patil told reporters earlier. “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.” —IANS

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