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Rediff.com  » News » Dr Singh, Chinese PM discuss border row, JK visas

Dr Singh, Chinese PM discuss border row, JK visas

Last updated on: October 29, 2010 17:47 IST

Dr Singh, Chinese PM discuss border row, JK visas

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Emphasising the importance of friendly ties between India and China, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh told his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao on Friday that the two countries need to be sensitive to each other's core concerns, even as the Chinese premier said he hopes to visit India during this year.

India has proposed December 16-17 as the probable dates for Wen's visit to India. China is yet to confirm the dates.

He was speaking during the bilateral meeting between the two leaders on the sidelines of the ASEAN-India and East Asia Summit in Hanoi, Vietnam.

Briefing newspersons on the discussions, India's National Security Advisor Shiv Shankar Menon said that the talks between the two leaders covered the entire gamut of the relationship between China and India.

Reportage: Shishir Bhate in Hanoi


Image: A file photograph of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao
Photographs: Reuters
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'All difficult issues were discussed'

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This was the tenth meeting between the two leaders in the last six years. The meeting was warm and friendly, said NSA Menon. Dr Singh and Wen Jiabao also discussed the specifics of the Sino-Indian relationship and the talks took a broad strategic view of the ties between two of the world's fastest growing economies.

Asked if the boundary issue and the matter of stapled visas were discussed during the talks, the National Security Advisor said, "All difficult issues were discussed."

"We look forward to an early resolution to the (boundary) issue. This is an ongoing conversation and we will continue to discuss the core issues concerning both India and China. Further movement on this will be along the guiding principles (for the Settlement of the India-China boundary question) signed in 2005," Menon said.

"Special Representatives from both the countries will meet in Beijing by end of November on the boundary issue," Menon said.


Image: A snow-covered army camp is seen after snowfall at the India-China trade route at Nathu-La
Photographs: Reuters
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Chinese PM to visit India later this year

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Meanwhile, the two countries have decided to maintain peace and tranquility along the border, the National Security Advisor said.

Earlier, Wen Jiabao agreed with Dr Singh that there is enough space in the world to accommodate the growth ambitions of both India and China, and added that "the world is large enough to also have cooperation in all areas," said Menon.

Wen Jiabao said, "We have to work our way around difficult issues."

The Chinese premier said he "hopes to visit India during the course of this year", the 60th year of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two nations.  "To make the visit a productive one, we need to discuss and reach a consensus on some major aspects," he said.


Image: A file photograph of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao
Photographs: Reuters
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High level defence exchanges remain suspended

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Menon told the media that the two countries will continue to deal with the issues and hold high level review to see how talks progress. He said discussions thus far have been on a positive track and have given a new impetus to Sino-Indian ties.

The meeting between the two leaders also brought to an end the suspension of high level talks between the two countries since July this year following the controversy that erupted over China issuing stapled visas to Kashmiris.

Defence exchanges between India and China will continue, the NSA said, but added that high level defence exchanges will remain suspended.


Image: A policeman stands guard in front of closed shops during a strike in Srinagar
Photographs: Reuters
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Trade imbalance

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Asked if the issue of the trade imbalance between India and China, which favours Beijing, was brought up during the bilateral discussions, Menon said that China is conscious of this. The Chinese leader said that some steps have been taken to address the issue.

The leaders however expressed satisfaction at the rising level of trade between the two countries. The NSA said that bilateral trade between India and China had touched $45 billion in the first nine months of this year and is likely to touch $60 billion in the entire year. China said that it had taken a number of steps to address the unviable trade imbalance that gives it a $16 billion surplus.

The prime minister also held bilateral discussions with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak later.

The two leaders reviewed the bilateral ties between the two countries and expressed satisfaction at the development since India's Republic Day on January 26, 2010 where the Korean leader was the chief guest. India and Korea have a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, and are also working together in the areas of space and civil aviation, etc.

The matter of the problems being faced by the Pohang Steel Company (Posco) in India was not discussed at the meeting.


Image: An aerial view of Shanghai's new financial district skyline along the Huang Pu river at night
Photographs: Reuters
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