China to pay 'great importance' to relations with India: Xi Jinping

Xi Jinping

In his first direct comments on relations with India, China's new leader Xi Jinping has assured Prime Minister Manmohan Singh that his country would pay "great importance" to developing bilateral ties as their cooperation has brought "substantial benefits" to both sides.

"China will, as it has been doing, pay great importance to developing relations with India and expects to carry out close cooperation with India to create a brighter future of their bilateral relations," Xi wrote in a letter to Singh which was delivered to him by top Chinese diplomat Dai Bingguo in New Delhi on January 11.

"China-India relations have maintained stable development in the past few years, which has brought about substantial benefits to the two countries and the two peoples," state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying.

He said the world has enough space for China and India to achieve common development.

Dai, China's chief negotiator in border talks with India, was in New Delhi last week to attend the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) security officials' meeting.

Xi's letter was stated to be in response to a letter from Singh after his election as the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) succeeding Hu Jintao.

Singh's letter conveying his greetings to the new Chinese leadership as well as assurance to carry forward the relations was handed over by National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon last month when he visited Beijing.

Dai would be retiring from the post of State Councillor and top diplomat of China after a decade-long stint during which he held 15 rounds of talks with Menon and several of his predecessors.

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