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India, China can convert border into zone of peace: Wen

Tuesday 12 April 2005

New Delhi, April 12. (UNI): Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao today said India and China could convert the boundary between them into a zone of peace if they demonstrated sincerity, patience and perseverance in settling the border dispute.

Addressing a press conference at the conclusion of his four-day official visit to India, he said the eleven "political parameters and guiding principles" worked out by the two countries yesterday to resolve the boundary dispute could take bilateral negotiations on the lingering issue to a new stage.

Mr Wen, who had yesterday met Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other Indian leaders to discuss bilateral issues and international developments, said India and China had creaed a "new lasting friendship" between them.

China, he said, wanted good neighbourly and friendly relations with all South Asian countries, including India. "A stable and growing India and a stable and growing China is in the interest of both countries," he added.

The Chinese Premier observed that peace and stability in South Asia was in the interest of the entire world. "You can see the smile on my face," he said, when asked how his meeting with Dr Singh went off.

On the Pakistan-China nuclear cooperation which has been a cause of worry for India, Mr Wen asserted that it was completely for peaceful purposes. This cooperation was in compliance with the Nuclear non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) and subject to safeguards of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

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