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China-India bilateral ties get a push

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    http://english.people.com.cn/200611/20/eng20061120_323530.html China-India bilateral ties get
    Message 1 of 1 , Nov 20, 2006
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      http://english.people.com.cn/200611/20/eng20061120_323530.html
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      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
      Daily.

      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
      process.

      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
      very small.

      "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
      border dispute.

      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
      since 2003.

      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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