SHANGHAI, June 16 (UPI) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao has told the Indian oil minister that China is keen to develop a long-term strategic partnership with India.
Speaking in Shanghai Friday, after the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, Hu told Indian Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas Murli Deora that "this is an established policy of the Chinese government," according to Xinhua news agency.
Following the two countries' joint decision last year to strengthen regional ties and form a strategic cooperative partnership, Hu said, relations between the two have entered a new phase of friendship and reciprocal cooperation.
"I believe, with the joint efforts of our two sides, the relations between China and India will keep upgrading," Hu said.
Deora, who was representing the Indian government at the SCO summit, concurred with the Chinese premier. In addition to the improving relations, Deora said, the two countries were also benefiting from a rapid increase in bilateral trade and economic cooperation.
The two emerging Asian powers have recently experienced unparalleled levels of economic growth, matched only by rapidly expanding middle classes.
The Shanghai Cooperation Organization boasts China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan in its membership. India, Mongolia, Pakistan and Iran all have observer status.