China hails ties with India, Russia

ChinaBEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping hailed his country’s relations with India and Russia during meetings here on Monday that saw calls for developing economies to have more say on the global stage, rivalling US influence.

Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj and her counterpart from Russia Sergei Lavrov are visiting China on the heels of a high-profile trip to India by Unites States President Barack Obama last week, and with Russian leader Vladimir Putin embroiled in a conflict in Ukraine.

Under President Xi, China has been pursuing a bigger say in the global economy, winning support in November from Asia-Pacific economies for a roadmap for a vast new free trade area that could rival US plans for the region.

China is also aiming to set up an Asian infrastructure lender seen as a counterweight to Western-backed international development banks, and has backed plans to reform the International Monetary Fund that would give emerging economies a greater say in the institution.

Following her meetings in Beijing, Ms Swaraj said: “We have shared interests in governance reform of the international financial system.”

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi added: “We call for the improvement of global economic governance and to increase the voice and representation of developing countries.”

President Xi had earlier told Ms Swaraj that China-India ties “have entered a new stage of growth” since he visited the country in September.

“The positive side of China-India relations has been growing, the momentum of our cooperation has been strengthening,” he added.

Ms Swaraj was similarly effusive, telling Mr Xi that “relations between our two countries have risen to a whole new level”.

Talking to Mr Lavrov, President Xi expressed his satisfaction with China-Russia ties.

“Over the past year, we have together been advancing the development of the overall strategic relationship between China and Russia,” he said

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