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Tuesday, July 03, 2001

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'Healthy' Sino-Indian ties stressed

BEIJING, JULY 2. China today said healthy Sino-Indian relations were conducive for regional stability and hoped the two sides would work hard to further promote friendly ties.

``Maintaining healthy and stable bilateral ties is not only the wish of the two sides but is also conducive to regional stability,'' the senior Chinese leader, Mr. Li Peng, told the visiting Deputy Chairperson of the Rajya Sabha, Dr. Najma Heptulla, during a meeting here.

Mr. Li, Chairman of the National People's Congress (NPC), the Chinese Parliament, noted that bilateral ties have made sound development in recent times and hoped both sides would work hard to further promote friendly ties based on the five principles of peaceful co-existence.

Mr. Li also expressed the Chinese Government's appreciation for India's support to China's early entry into the World Trade Organisation (WTO), the State-run China Central Television said. China is expected to join the WTO later this year, ending a 15- year wait and hard negotiations with the United States and the European Union.

Mr. Li described Ms. Heptulla, who is also president of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU), as ``an old friend of China'' and expressed the NPC's willingness to cooperate with India on legislative affairs and on promoting bilateral ties.

Mr. Li, who is ranked number two in the Communist Party hierarchy after the Chinese President, Mr. Jiang Zemin, had visited India in January this year.

Ms. Heptullah, who is leading a 25-member delegation, comprising MPs, trade union leaders and businessmen, said the two Parliaments should enhance cooperation and bilateral ties.

- PTI

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