Hu tells Indian PM he has to cut trip short because of quake
Chinese President Hu Jintao told Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here Thursday that he has to cut his ongoing Latin America trip short because of a devastating earthquake hitting northwest China's Qinghai Province.
Hu made the statement when the two leaders met on the sidelines of a summit of BRIC nations - Brazil, Russia, India and China.
Hu told Singh that he was glad to meet again but because a strong earthquake on Wednesday hit Qinghai Province and caused serious casualties, he has to return home early and cut short his ongoing trip in Latin America.
The 7.1-magnitude earthquake on Wednesday killed more than 600 people and left another 313 missing and 9,110 injured. About 100,000 people were left homeless.
Singh said the Indian people were sorry to hear about the devastating earthquake. Singh said that the Indian people expressed deep condolences to China over the tragedy.
The BRIC summit slated for Friday will discuss the global economy and financial situation, reform of the international financial system, climate change and cooperation among the four countries.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and India. During the past 60 years, China-India relations have steadily developed.
In the new century, the two nations have forged a strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity and formulated a ten-pronged strategy to deepen bilateral ties.
Political, economic, trade, cultural and people-to-people exchanges and cooperation between China and India have grown across the board and borne fruits.The two countries have coordinated and worked with each other closely in international and regional affairs.
On April 1, Hu and Indian President Pratibha Patil exchanged congratulatory messages to mark the anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.
In his message to Patil, Hu said that as two major emerging developing countries, China and India face common tasks and challenges, have extensive shared interests and shoulder important responsibilities.
"The Chinese side deems its relationship with India one of its most important bilateral relationships. To develop a long-term and stable strategic and cooperative partnership with India is the set principle and policy of the Chinese government," Hu said.
"We are ready to deepen friendship, enhance mutual trust, and broaden cooperation with India to tackle various global challenges, uphold the interests of developing countries and promote sustained, steady and in-depth growth of our strategic and cooperative partnership," said the Chinese leader.
Patil said in her message that India's ever-growing relationship with China is of global and strategic significance.
India hopes to continue its close cooperation with China, and will strive to bring India-China relations to new heights, Patil said.