Want to deepen strategic co-op with India:China

Beijing: Seeking to build on the "great cooperation potential" between India and China, President Hu Jintao has told Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that it is Beijing`s "unswerving policy" to develop bilateral ties and deepen strategic cooperation.

During his meeting with Singh on Thursday in New Delhi on the sidelines of the BRICS summit, Hu told Singh that "it is China`s unswerving policy to develop Sino-Indian friendship, deepen strategic cooperation and seek common development," Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told a media briefing here today.

Answering a question on the outcome of the meeting, Hong said Hu had informed Singh that "lasting and sincere friendship is China`s expectation of our bilateral relations. There is a great cooperation potential and prospect of development for China-India relations," Hu, who was largely credited with improving Sino-India relations during his decade-long tenure, told Singh, in what perhaps will be his last visit to India as he is set to retire later this year.

Hong said while declaring 2012 as the year of China-India Friendship and Cooperation, the two leaders expressed their willingness to elevate bilateral ties to a strategic partnership.

Hu told Singh that "China hopes to see a peaceful, prosperous and continually developing India and is committed to building more dynamic China-India relationship," according to Hong. "China hopes to work with India to seize development opportunities, step up development, jointly respond to challenges and make greater contribution to peace and prosperity of Asia and beyond," the Chinese President told the Indian leader, Hong said.

According to state-run Xinhua news agency, the Chinese President put forward a five-point proposal on promoting Sino-India relations to Singh, which included maintaining high- level contacts, increasing political mutual trust, expanding official exchanges, strengthening strategic communication, and carrying out dialogues on new topics such as maritime cooperation.

Hu also suggested that the two countries should enhance economic policy coordination and cooperate in the fields of infrastructure, information technology, mutual investment and environmental protection.

Besides expanding cultural and people-to-people exchanges, the two countries should properly handle their differences and work for peace and stability, Hu said. He also urged to push forward border talks in the spirit of peace, friendship, equality, mutual respect and mutual understanding so as to jointly safeguard peace and security on the borders and called for strengthening communication and coordination to expand cooperation in international affairs. In his briefing, Hong also highlighted Singh`s remarks that India "will not take part in any strategy that contains China."

"India recognises Tibet as a part of Chinese territory and will not allow Tibetans in engaging in anti-China activities. India hopes to work with China to uphold peace and security in border areas and solve border issues properly through friendly negotiation with China," Hong quoted Singh as telling Hu.

Hong said Singh also told Hu that "India hopes to maintain high-level exchange of visits with China, deepen strategic mutual trust, expand win-win cooperation and hope to make strategic economic dialogue between the two countries a success."