Beijing: India on Wednesday told China that it sees improving bilateral ties as a priority of its foreign policy and expressed desire to expand strategic cooperation, setting aside concerns here over future direction of the relations in the backdrop of the big US push into the Asia-Pacific region.
Conveying a strong message about India's intention to firm up ties with China, visiting External Affairs Minister SM Krishna told Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang that it is important for both the countries to build trust and understanding to maintain strong and healthy relationship.
"I conveyed to him that our relations with China are a priority in India's foreign policy and we believe that India-China relations will be one of the most important bilateral relationships in the 21st century," Krishna told reporters after a 45-minute meeting with Li, who is widely tipped to take over as Premier next year after the leadership change in the ruling CPC.
"I indicated that India desires to expand the strategic and cooperative partnership that exists between our countries.
It is important for us to continue building better understanding and trust between us since that will help to maintain a strong and healthy relationship between India and China," he said.
On his part, Li called for "pragmatic cooperation" to address disputes and advance bilateral ties.
"It is an important cornerstone for the development of China-India relations to deepen pragmatic cooperation to achieve win-win reciprocity," Li told Krishna.
The Chinese side is willing to work together with India to maintain strategic communication, improve political mutual trust, and appropriately address disputes and safeguard the peace and tranquility in border areas to advance the bilateral relationship to a new phase, state-run Xinhua new agency quoted Li as telling Krishna.