India and China ‘strategic partners and good friends’: Li

New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) India and China were “strategic partners and good friends” that could speak to each other with candour, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said Monday while stressing on discussions between the two on the border issue and river waters.

Addressing the media alongside Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the visiting premier said the two countries had worked to “maintain tranquillity and peace in the border areas”.

Describing the border question as one “left over by history”, he said both sides believed that “we need to improve border mechanisms… make them more efficient” as well as “appropriately manage and resolve our differences”.

Discussing the issue of river waters, he said China had in recent years shared “hydrologial information” with India.

Li, who arrived in India Sunday, said the important outcome of his visit was that the two leaders had reached “strategic consensus”.

China and India, he said in his statement to the media, had a “combined population that exceed one third of humanity”.

Their “amicable relationship”, he said, was the new engine for the world economy.

“Since we are strategic partners and good friends, we can speak with candour,” he said, adding that they did not deny there were problems.

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