Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to China will further consolidate the foundation of friendly cooperation between the two neighbours, who now have more consensus than differences due to efforts to boost mutual trust, a leading official daily said in Beijing on Friday.
The three-day visit, beginning on January 13, will further enhance communications between the two nations and better coordinate their stances in regional and international affairs, the state-run People's Daily, whose views are reflective of the ruling Communist Party of China's stance, said in an article.
"China and India are neighbours of great significance to each other. Both are emerging powers noted for their rapid development. In recent years, China and India have continuously exchanged high-level visits and bilateral ties have kept a strong momentum for further development," the paper said.
The article took note of the high-level exchanges between the two countries, including the visits to India by Chinese President Hu Jintao in 2006 and by Premier Wen Jiabao in 2005 and the trip by United Progressive Alliance chairperson Sonia Gandhi to China last year, the first foreign leader to undertake the visit after the CPC's 17th National Congress in October.
In 2007, the paper said, leaders of the two countries held meetings on important international occasions, including the outreach session of the Group of Eight summit and the East Asia Summit, and had discussions on how to further deepen bilateral relations.
The two countries maintained close contact and coordination in regional and international affairs, the article said, adding such mechanisms as the China-India strategic dialogue and the bilateral dialogue on anti-terrorism had provided an important channel for two-way communications.
Referring to the consensus reached by the two neighbours over climate change and energy supply, the article said both governments had realised that the strategic and cooperative partnership between China and India was in their interests and "is conducive to peace, stability and prosperity of Asia and the world."
"Leaders from both sides have said that Sino-Indian relations have transcended the mere concept of bilateral ties to have international significance."
Taking note of the border problem "left over by history," it said the two countries would surely work out solutions that are practical and satisfactory so long as they cherish the values of peace, friendship, equality, consultation, mutual respect and understanding.
To discuss the border issue, delegates from both sides have held three meetings in 2007, the report said. Currently, the article added, the two countries have "more consensus than differences" as a result of efforts to boost mutual trust.
The People's Daily also referred to the bilateral trade which now stood at US$ 34.2 billion, up 54 per cent from the same period of 2006 and said that 'headways are also made in defence cooperation.'