Indian and Chinese PMs meet, try to break great wall

  • Pramit Pal Chaudhuri, Hindustan Times, Hanoi
  • |
  • Updated: Oct 30, 2010 01:03 IST

Meeting his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao in Hanoi on Friday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh stressed the need for both their countries to show "sensitivity to each other's core issues".

Briefing the press, national security advisor Shivshanker Menon did not spell out what these core issues were. But clearly for India, the border dispute and China's policy shift on Kashmir are crucial, while for China, Tibet is a core concern.

During their discussion on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit, both premiers agreed to work together to demolish the great wall of differences that had lately arisen between the two giant Asian neighbours.

The two sides will use Wen's likely visit to India in December to resolve some of the problems bedevilling relations between them.

Wen said to make his visit "productive" the two sides needed "to discuss and reach a consensus on some major aspects."

Special representatives of India and China — Menon and his counterpart Dai Bingguo — will also meet in Beijing in November end.

The two leaders took a "broader view" of Sino-Indian strategic relations during their meeting, Menon said. Wen cited Singh's oft-repeated line that the world was big enough to "accommodate the aspirations of both countries," adding it was also big enough for the two to cooperate on many issues.

"India and China have similar positions on many global issues," said Menon. The leaders agreed to work together on matters like climate change, counter-terrorism and trade.

Bilateral defence exchanges, which have been suspended after China denied a visa to a top Indian military officer would continue, but both sides would "work on this issue," Menon said.

Wen had informed Singh of steps Beijing was taking to address India's concerns about Chinese trade barriers and the trade imbalance between the two countries.

 

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