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India, China on path of nuke cooperation

Source: PTI
November 21, 2006 15:29 IST
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Scripting a new chapter, India and China on Tuesday decided to promote civil nuclear cooperation and accelerate efforts to arrive at a boundary settlement.

The two nations also declared that they are not rivals but partners for mutual benefit.

After wide-ranging talks between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao, the two sides came out with a ten-pronged strategy to intensify cooperation in all areas and to give greater content to their strategic partnership.

The two sides affirmed their commitment to resolve outstanding differences, including on the boundary question through peaceful means and in a fair, reasonable, mutually acceptable and pro-active manner.

While this process goes on, both sides will ensure that such differences are not allowed to affect the positive development of bilateral relations.

Both Dr Singh and Hu read out brief statements and later an eight-page Joint Declaration was issued.

"Cooperation in the field of civil nuclear energy will be promoted," Singh said.

India and China are committed to non-proliferation objectives and agree to expand their dialogue on the related issues, in bilateral and international fora, the declaration said.

It said global energy systems should take into account and meet the energy needs of both the countries, as part and parcel of a stable, predictable, secure and clean energy future.

'In this context, international civilian nuclear cooperation should be advanced through innovative and forward-looking approaches, while safeguarding the effectiveness of international non-proliferation principles,' the declaration said.

In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Jiang Yu said China is willing to conduct cooperation on the peaceful uses of nuclear energy with all countries, including India, on the pre-condition that all parties should honour their international obligations.

On the vexed boundary issue, the two sides said an early settlement will advance the basic interests of the two countries and shall, therefore, be pursued as a strategic objective.

The two sides will continue to intensify work as per the Political Parameters and Guiding Principles to find a solution to the problem, said Hu, the first Chinese President to visit India in a decade.

Describing China and India as true friends, he said they would work hand-in-hand to promote peace and development.

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