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China mum about N-deals, border

Source: PTI
November 27, 2006 10:22 IST
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Buoyed by the signing of several bilateral cooperation agreements, Chinese President Hu Jintao's just-concluded visit to four Asian countries, including India, was a remarkable success, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said in Beijing on Monday.

Hu's Asian tour is a new milestone in efforts to foster friendly relations with neighbouring countries and remarkable successes had been achieved during the visit, Li was quoted as saying by the state-run Xinhua news agency.

During the 12-day tour, Hu, also general secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China, attended the 14th Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Economic Leaders' Meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, and then paid state visits to Vietnam, Laos, India and Pakistan.

President Hu's four-nation tour has deepened the friendship with these countries, enhanced their mutual trust, expanded mutually beneficial cooperation and helped chart the course for further development of the relationships between them, Li told Chinese reporters.

The tour also witnessed the signing of 54 documents on cooperation between China and other countries in various fields and the publication of five joint statements and declarations, he said.

Li noted that China and India signed a pact on investment promotion and protection, agreeing to strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation in the areas of information and communication technology, energy, infrastructure, science and technology and agriculture.

The two sides also set a target of raising the annual volume of their bilateral trade to $40 billion by 2010.

However, the Chinese foreign minister did not say anything on the boundary issue, endorsing the Indo-US nuclear issue or even Sino-Indian civilian nuclear cooperation.

All the four nations Hu visited are China's important neighbours, Li said.

To consolidate and advance good-neighbourly and friendly relations with them is of great significance to China's efforts to create a good surrounding environment, conduct cooperation of mutual benefit and achieve common development, he said.

It is also of great importance to safeguard and promote peace and development in Asia as a whole, the minister added.

During his visits, Hu expounded on his proposals for the strategic and long-term development of bilateral relations, which gained positive responses from his hosts and enhanced political trust between China and those countries, Li said.

Noting economic and trade cooperation is a key component of China's relationships with the four countries, Li said Hu had discussed the issue with the leaders and several relevant agreements were signed during his visits.

China and Pakistan signed a free trade agreement that is projected to triple their current bilateral trade to USD 15 billion within five years and to promote bilateral cooperation in agriculture, transportation, energy, finance and information industry.

China and Vietnam signed a number of cooperation documents during the visit, marking out the framework of bilateral economic cooperation in the next 5 to 10 years.

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