Sino-Indian Joint Press Communique
1988-12-23 23:38

                                                                                                             (Beijing, 23 December 1988)

At the invitation of Premier Li Peng of the State Council of the People's Republic of China, Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi of the Republic of India made and official goodwill visit to the People's Republic of China from 19 to 23 December 1988. Accompanying His Excellency Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi on his visit to China were Mrs. Sonia Gandhi, Mr. Narasimha Rao, Minister of External Affairs of India, Mr. Dinesh Singh, Minister of Commerce, Dr. B. Shankaranand, Minister of Law and Justice and Water Resources, Mr. K. Natwar Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, and other Indian officials.

Premier Li Peng and Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi held talks in an atmosphere of friendship, candidness and mutual understanding. President Yang Shangkun of the People's Republic of China, General secretary Zhao Ziyang of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Chairman Deng Xiaoping of the Military Commission of the CPC Central Committee had separate meetings with Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. During his visit, the two Governments signed the Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Science and Technology, the agreement Relating to Civil Air Transport, and the Executive Programme for the Years 1988, 1988 and 1990 under the Agreement for Cultural Cooperation. Both the Premier and the Prime Minister were present at the signing ceremony. The Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi, Mrs. Gandhi and their party also toured historical sites and scenic spots in Beijing, Xi'an and Shanghai.

During their talks and meetings, the leaders of the two countries had a wide exchange of views and ideas on bilateral relations and international issues of mutual interest. Both sides found such talks and meetings useful as they enhanced mutual understanding in the interest of further improvement and development of bilateral relations. The two sides made a positive appraisal of the cooperation and exchanges in recent years in trade, culture, science and technology, civil aviation and other fields, and expressed satisfaction with the relevant agreements reached between the two countries. They emphasized the vast scope that existed for learning from each other.

They emphasized that the Five Principles of mutual respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non-interference in each other's internal affairs, equality and mutual benefit, and peaceful coexistence, which were jointly initiated by China and India and which have proved full of vitality through the test of history, constitute the basic guiding principles for good relations between states. These principles also constitute the basic guidelines for the establishment of a new international political order and the new international economic order. Both sides agreed that their common desire was to restore, improve and develop Sino-Indian good-neighborly and friendly relations on the basis of these principles. This not only conforms to the fundamental interests of the two peoples, but will actively contribute to peace and stability in Asia and the world as a whole. The two sides reaffirmed that they would make efforts to further their friendly relation.

The leaders of the two countries held earnest, indepth discussions on the Sino-Indian boundary question and agreed to settle this question through peaceful and friendly consultatations. They also agreed to develop their relations actively in other fields and work hard to create a favourable climate and conditions for a fair and reasonable settlement of the boundary question while seeking a mutually acceptable solution to this question. In this context, concrete steps will be taken, such as establishing a joint working group on the boundary question and a joint group on economic relations and trade and science and technology.

The Chinese side expressed concern over anti-China activities by some Tibetan elements in India. The Indian side reiterated the long-standing and consistent policy of the Government of India that Tibet is an autonomous region of China and that anti-China political activities by Tibetan elements are not permitted on Indian soil.

With regard to the international situation, the two sides held that in the present-day world, confrontation was giving way to dialogue and tension to relaxation. This is a trend resulting from long years of unswerving struggle by the peace-loving countries and people of the world against power politics. It is conducive to world peace and to the settlement of regional problems. It also facilitates the efforts of all countries, the developing countries in particular, to develop their national economies. China and India will make their own contributions to the maintenance of world peace, promotion of complete disarmament and attainment of common progress.

His Excellency Prime minister Rajiv Gandhi, Mrs. Sonia Gandhi and their party expressed heartfelt thanks to the Government and people of the People's Republic of China for the warm and friendly hospitality accorded them.

Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi has invited Premier Li Peng to visit the Republic of India at his convenience. Premier Li Peng has accepted the invitation with pleasure. And the date of the visit will be decided upon through diplomatic channnels.

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