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Swaraj's China visit: Attaches "great importance" to Swaraj’s visit, says China

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Beijing (Jan. 28, 2015): China Wednesday said it attaches "great importance" to External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's visit here this week, during which she will interact with top Chinese leaders and attend the 13th Russia, India and China (RIC) Foreign Ministers meeting.

"This is her first visit since she took over office last year. Both sides attach great importance to her visit," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said here.

Swaraj will be the senior most Indian leader to visit Beijing after US President Barack Obama's unprecedented second visit to India to attend the Republic Day parade and the Indo-US joint statement on advancing shared security in Asia Pacific region which evoked considerable concern here with a spate of critical commentaries in the official media.

During the visit, that begins Saturday, she will interact with top Chinese leaders and attend the 13th RIC Foreign Ministers meeting on February 2 along with her Chinese and Russian counterparts Wang Yi and Sergei Lavrov.

She is scheduled to hold talks with Wang and is also expected to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Swaraj will also inaugurate the 'Visit India Year' being organised by India to attract more tourists from China and address the India-China Media Forum being held on the sidelines of her visit.

Elaborating on how China viewed Swaraj's visit, Hua said bilateral ties between the two largest developing countries and major emerging economies were progressing in a "sound and stable way".

"Our cooperation has made some headway. We are enhancing mutual political trust and practical cooperation in various fields. We are in sound coordination and cooperation in regional and international issues," she said.

Last year, President Xi made a successful state-visit to India during which a platform and new chapter for strategic cooperation was written, injecting new impetus for bilateral ties, she said.

"China will work with India to sustain a sound momentum to build a closely-knit development partnership and realise cooperative, peaceful and common development," she said.

Hua said the three countries Russia, China and India are emerging markets and during the RIC Foreign Ministers meeting, they will exchange views on practical cooperation and issues of common interest.

"We share similar views on major international and regional issues.

"So during meeting they will exchange views on practical cooperation and issues of common interest. We believe a range of consensus will emerge from the meeting to further our political trust and our practical cooperation," she said.