Beijing, Feb 9 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, who is presently on a three-day visit to China, has proposed that 2012 should be celebrated as a year of friendship and cooperation between the two nations.
"India and China are two large Asian developing countries which are also neighbours. Hence we have significant opportunities and challenges that we can address. I proposed that we designate 2012 as the 'Year of India-China Friendship and Cooperation'," said Krishna in his opening remarks at a media interaction in Beijing.
"I am happy to inform you that all my Chinese interlocutors readily responded positively to this suggestion. We have now requested our officials to work out the modalities for implementation," he added.
Krishna said that he has invited the Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi to visit India so as to maintain the momentum of high-level interactions.
"In this context I have invited my counterpart Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi to visit India so as to maintain momentum of high-level interactions. He has gladly accepted. We hope it will be possible for him to visit India before the BRICS Summit in which President Hu Jintao will participate," he said.
The External Affairs Minister informed that he had a very productive and busy day meeting the entire spectrum of Chinese leadership handling foreign policy and national security issues.
"My discussions were broad ranging and encompassed several bilateral, multilateral and regional issues," said Krishna.
"I came with idea of engaging with my Chinese colleagues on how to take the relationship forward in 2012. This was the common theme in all my four meetings with H.E. Mr Zhou Yongkang, Member of the Politburo Standing Committee, H.E. Mr Dai Bingguo, State Councillor, H.E. Mr Yang Jeichi, Foreign Minister and H.E.Mr Wang Jiarui, Minister, International Dept.," he added.
Krishna further said the need for increase in people-to-people interaction was strongly emphasized since the total number of visitors from the two countries with a combined population of more than two billion is less than a million.
"As our business and people-to-people interaction grow, there will also be issues which need to be attended too. One such instance relates to the two Indian traders who were illegally detained in Yiwu and are currently involved in resolving their commercial dispute with Chinese traders," said Krishna.
"This morning they met me and expressed a desire to clear their name and return to India as early as possible. I empathasized with them regarding their traumatic experience and have raised the matter with my Chinese counterpart. The Indian Mission will continue to provide all assistance in resolving the issue," he added.
Krishna said both sides had a health discussion on global issues, which will have an impact on the development process.
"As representatives of the two largest developing countries, we discussed a variety of global issues which have an impact on our development process. These include matters relating to cooperation in the G-20 fora, climate change negotiations, WTO discussions as well as the impact of global economic crisis," he said. (ANI)
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