China-India bilateral ties get a push
China-India bilateral ties get a push
New Delhi: President Hu Jintao arrived here yesterday evening to start
his State visit to India.
In a written statement delivered upon arrival at the airport, Hu said
China and India are close neighbours, and friendly exchanges between the
two peoples dated back to ancient times.
He noted that bilateral relations had maintained sound momentum in
recent years and the two sides had enjoyed good co-ordination in
international and regional affairs.
As the first Chinese president to visit the country in a decade, Hu is
expected to work with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, to "fill in
the specifics" in the strategic partnership, according to Sun Yuxi,
Chinese ambassador to India.
China and India announced the establishment of their strategic
partnership for peace and prosperity last April in a joint statement
signed by Premier Wen Jiabao and Singh.
Hu's talks with Singh today will iron out the details for enhancing this
partnership in political, economic, military, cultural, scientific,
technological and educational spheres, Sun revealed in a group interview
last Friday with Chinese journalists at his residence.
"I believe Hu's visit will push China-India co-operative and friendly
relations in an all-round way," he said.
It is expected that the two countries will pledge to maintain regular
exchanges between heads of states and increase high-level exchanges.
They will improve co-ordination and dialogue on strategic and global
issues in international, regional and multilateral arenas, Sun said.
A bilateral agreement to enhance and protect investment is also expected
to be finalized and signed, with the hope of ensuring that Indian and
Chinese investors receive fair treatment and get legal protection from
the other country, Sun said.
He added that a draft of the agreement was signed during Commerce
Minister Bo Xilai's visit to India in March this year.
There have been talks about setting US$40 billion as the new target for
China-India bilateral trade. The amount this year is expected to reach
US$20 billion, which was originally set as the goal for 2008.
"What I expect the coming meetings will achieve is a deepening of
economic ties, which have been growing rapidly," Nitin Desai, who used
to work in the United Nations as undersecretary general, told China
Amit Mitra, secretary general of the Federation of Indian Chambers of
Commerce and Industry, predicted trade growth.
"We expect the US$18.7 billion trade or US$20 billion trade to grow to
US$40 billion in three years. For this, the India trade basket must be
diversified. Today, we export to you only iron ores and other minerals,
65 per cent. We need to look how we can export to you with a broader
basket than you export to us," Mitra said.
No one shied away from the China-India trade problems that the media
have highlighted in the past few months.
Chinese companies have encountered problems, such as lengthy visa
applications, but Sun noted that the Indian side has already made some
improvements and the two sides are working to further speed up the
Chinese companies have been very active in the past few years, and the
general trend has been positive, Sun said.
But according to Mitra, investment between the two countries is still
"It is not possible in economic history to sustain victory with such
small investment. So we expect that this visit will make openings for
investment," said Mitra
Besides trade problems, a thorny issue between China and India is the
Ambassador Sun pointed out that both countries' top leaders have
reiterated time and again that the border issues should not become an
obstacle to development.
Over the years, the two sides have signed several agreements to maintain
peace and build trust between the two militaries in border areas.
The dispute must be solved through peaceful negotiations, Sun said.
By June this year, the two sides had conducted eight rounds of talks
Swaran Singh, associate professor at the School of International
Studies, Jawaharial Nehru University, told China Daily that the two
sides cannot ignore the dispute.
But "the good part is that both sides have clearly indicated and
designed this parameter and the guiding principles agreement in 2005
when Wen Jiabao was here," he said. "China and India have so far managed
to involve their relations in such a way that our bilateral historical
problems are not allowed to disturb our relationship.
"That much both sides are sure of," Singh said.
K.K.Katyal, senior columnist and former associate editor of The Hindu,
said Indians hope that "this border issue will be sorted out sooner
rather than later."
"We have border problems with the Chinese, but we've kept them aside and
been moving ahead in many other fields and achieved progress," he said.
Manoj Joshi, opinion editor of the Hindustan Times who has studied and
advised on strategic issues for years, said China and India can
co-operate on environment and resources protection.
"Both of us are developing economies, both will put stress on our
environment. So therefore we need to access better technology," Joshi
said. "Both our countries are coal-rich countries, but coal produces a
lot of problems for environment. This is an area we can co-operate on."
Source: China Daily
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