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China Daily Website

China, India relations warm following series of economic meetings

Updated: 2013-09-28 00:19
By Zhao Yanrong ( China Daily)

China and India kicked off a series of meetings this week in Beijing to pave the way for a possible reciprocal visit by Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

It's a move observers say shows growing mutual trust between the two countries.

Meetings under the framework of the annual Strategic Economic Dialogue and bilateral talks on trade and economic issues were held respectively on Wednesday and Friday, The Hindu newspaper said in a report on Wednesday.

Officials are cited by the report as saying the current round of consultations took on special emphasis because both sides are looking to tie up agreements to be announced when Singh visits China.

Foreign ministers from China and India also met on the sidelines of the 68th United Nations General Assembly on Wednesday. Foreign Minister Wang Yi said the China-India strategic cooperative partnership was gathering pace and making progress.

"I think the meetings are extremely important and show the ties between India and China are maturing," said B.R. Deepak, chairman of the Center of Chinese and Southeast Asian Studies at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi.

Meanwhile, another two-day meeting on border affairs is scheduled to start on Sunday in Beijing, Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said at a news conference on Thursday.

The two sides will exchange views on the border region situation, communication and cooperation between border control departments of the two countries and specific measures on safeguarding the peace and stability of the border region, said the spokesman.

China and India share a 2,000-kilometer border that has never been formally delineated. The two countries began discussing border issues since the 1980s.

An agreement was signed in New Delhi in January 2012 to formally launch the working mechanism with the participation of diplomatic and military officials from both sides.

Sun Shihai, an Indian studies expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the bilateral relationship between China and India has been quite smooth in the past years because both sides have remained cool headed over the border issue and overall ties are advancing steadily.

Earlier this year, Premier Li Keqiang chose New Delhi as the first leg of his first foreign trip after taking office. Singh's visit will be in return for Li's India mission.

"It is important for building up mutual trust between the Beijing and New Delhi. And it is going to be the first time since 1954 when then-Indian prime minister visited China and Zhou Enlai, then-Chinese prime minister visited India within a year," Deepak said.

Sun said a joint statement and agreements between India and China are likely to be announced during Singh's visit.

"Based on a series of dialogue mechanisms ranging from border issues to cultural exchanges, the mainstays of China-India relationships have kept moving forward with good momentum," said Sun.

Mo Jingxi in Beijing and Xinhua contributed to this story.

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