04/13/2005, 00.00
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Chinese prime minister: a multi-polar world with India and Russia

Wen Jiabao has rounded off a four-day visit to India without any significant agreements, but with many promises for the future.

New Delhi (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Chinese prime minister Wen Jiabao yesterday ended his four-day visit to India. At the end of talks with a series of Indian political authorities, a press statement was issued in which the two nations defined theirs as a "friendly closeness, not a rivalry". "India and China are sisters – said the prime minister of Peking – and with this visit we have taken our relationship to a new level."

 Wen also confirmed the backing of Peking for the Indian request for a permanent seat on the United Nations Security Council, adding that China would like to see India in many other international organizations, including the Shanghai League for Cooperation. The prime minister talked much about the need of the two Asian giants for a "multi-polar vision of the world", and explained that the realization of more important objectives could take place only "thanks to cooperation and to exchanges between the three great countries: India, China and Russia. This does not mean that we must make an alliance of political nature, but of cooperation and development."

 On the question of the Himalayan borders no significant agreement was reached. The war, officially under way since 1962, has not ended; Wen however did announce that Peking was disposed to recognize Indian sovereignty in Sikkim, a border area. "Until we work with sincerity and patience, we can doubtless turn the Sino-Indian border into a zone of peace".

 During his "Asia tour" which comprises a visit to Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the Chinese prime minister signed some 50 bilateral agreements, most of them of commercial nature.

 Of particular significance are the declarations about petroleum, which India and China desperately need to meet industrial demands. The two countries are committed to diversifying their demand for fuel among producing countries, so as not to swamp the market and to keep the price of barrels at a normal level.

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