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Wen sets store by China, India, Russia cooperation

Wednesday 13 April 2005, by BARUAH*Amit

NEW DELHI, APRIL 12. Trilateral cooperation between India, China and Russia will help democratise international relations and safeguard world peace, security and stability, the Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao, told a group of senior journalists today.

The three countries shared "identical and similar" views on many issues, Mr. Wen said. "Coordination and cooperation" among them served the interest of peace and stability in the region and the world at large.

China, India and Russia were all "influential" countries and China was "positive towards trilateral cooperation," Mr. Wen said. This "cooperation and coordination" was by no means an alliance and not targeted at any other country.

Mr. Wen, who left for Beijing later in the day, said that his visit to India had produced "rich results" and that reporters could see "all the smiles" on his face. He quoted his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, as telling him on Monday, that "we two are making history."

U.N. Council seat

A day after the Foreign Secretary, Shyam Saran, said that China would be happy to see India as a permanent member of the United Nations’ Security Council, Mr. Wen preferred to stick to the language contained in Monday’s joint statement on the issue. "China reiterates that we attach great importance to the ... role of India in international affairs because India is a very populous and important developing country. We fully understand and support the Indian aspiration to play an even bigger role in international affairs, including in the United Nations," he maintained.

On the boundary dispute, he said that as long as the two sides showed sincerity, patience and perseverance in addressing the problem, the India-China border could be turned into a "boundary of peace and friendship."

On Sikkim, Mr. Wen said that it was "known to all" that this was no longer a problem in bilateral relations with India.

China wanted to further economic cooperation with India and Beijing would like to focus on cooperation between "industries" in hi-tech, scientific and technological fields.

Mr. Wen said that China welcomed India’s "liaison" with regional groupings, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the "ASEAN plus three" arrangement.

He said that nuclear cooperation between Beijing and Islamabad was only for peaceful purposes and the Chashma plant was a good example of this.

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