HANOI - China and India are friends and partners, not rivals, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said Friday at a meeting here with his Chinese counterpart, Wen Jiabao.
Bilateral relations between China and India have witnessed steady development since the two countries established diplomatic ties 60 years ago, bringing tangible benefits to both countries and their peoples, Singh said.
He said the Indian government highly valued China-India relations and India was willing to join in a concerted effort with China to strengthen their high-level exchanges as well as consultations at all levels, to expand reciprocal cooperation, and to enhance their coordination in global and regional issues.
Singh welcomed Chinese companies to invest in India, and also encouraged Indian enterprises to expand their business in China.
Wen said the world was not only large enough for the development side-by-side of both countries, but offered enough areas in which both sides could cooperate.
As China and India were the world's two most populous countries with long histories, their cooperation and development were of great significance to the whole world, Wen said, adding both sides should unswervingly maintain their friendship, promote political trust, and steadily consolidate their strategic cooperative partnership.
He said China was willing to work with India to give full play to bilateral economic and trade cooperation, and strive for a continuous growth of trade and investment by enlarging the areas and innovating the forms of their cooperation.
In addition, proactive and effective measures should be taken to push forward cultural exchanges, including those between the media and the youth of both countries, which could strengthen both mutual understanding and public support for bilateral ties, Wen said.
He also said China and India should safeguard the interests of developing countries through better coordination when addressing global issues, such as the reform of the international financial system, climate change, energy and food security, prevention of natural disasters and relief efforts, and anti-terrorism.
Both prime ministers agreed the two countries would continue to maintain peace and stability in their border areas. Based on the spirit of peace and friendship, equality and consultation, and mutual respect and understanding, China and India would take into consideration each other's concerns, and work for an equitable and justified settlement of border issues that was acceptable to both sides.