Beijing: Calling himself a “strong proponent” of friendship with India, Chinese President Xi Jinping today said furthering Sino-Indian strategic ties is his “historic mission”.
“Furthering strategic partnership with India is my historic mission and I am a proponent of it,” he told India’s new Ambassador to China Ashok K Kantha while accepting his credentials at a special ceremony at the Great Hall of People here.
Indian officials said Xi’s categorical remarks to the new envoy displays earnestness on the part of the new Chinese leadership to develop closer ties with India as it came from the top most leader of the present dispensation.
Xi, who evinced interest in visiting India once the new government takes over power after the general elections, had a 15-minute long meeting with Kantha during which he told the envoy that besides improving close bilateral relations, the new Chinese leadership looks forward to work with New Delhi on regional and global issues, officials here said.
Though Xi received credentials from 15 new envoys from different countries, he had personal meetings with Kantha and very few of them.
Those who presented his credentials included the new US Ambassador to China Max Baucus.
Xi is regarded as the most powerful Chinese ruler in recent years as he held three powerful posts – head of the ruling Communist Party of China, (CPC), Presidency and chief of military since he took over power last year for a decade- long stint.
Xi’s strong pitch for closer ties with India came as the number two Chinese leadership, Premier Li Keqiang told Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission Montek Singh Ahluwalia that “integrating” China’s technology in India’s railway and energy sectors would be a “breakthrough” in Sino-Indian cooperation.
Li chose to visit New Delhi first after he took over power to send a strong message of friendship with India.