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India, China upbeat despite trade issues

world Updated: Apr 15, 2010 23:59 IST
Jayanth Jacob
Jayanth Jacob
Hindustan Times
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India and China reaffirmed the recent buoyancy in ties as Prime Minister Manmohan Singh met Chinese President Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the IBSA-BRIC summits here on Thursday.

Singh pitched for measures to address the trade imbalance as both sides discussed ways to boost trade to meet the target of US$ 60 billion.

The Chinese President agreed with Singh’s view that the world was big enough to accommodate the developmental aspirations of both India and China. Both leaders termed 2010 as a “momentous year” for Indo-China ties as it marks the 60 years of establishing the diplomatic relationship between the two countries. They have also pledged to work together on global issues, varying from climate change to Doha round of trade negotiations. The two sides stressed on the importance of “strategic and cooperative” partnership.

The trade imbalance has been playing big on Delhi’s mind as in 2009 India faced a trade deficit of US$ 15.8 billion. And the total trade for the year was US$43 billion, which had slowed down from US$ 52 billion due to the global financial crisis. Commerce Minister Anand Sharma had discussed the trade imbalance issue at length with China during his visit in January this year.

“Balanced trade is our objective. The two leaders discussed the growing trade ties at length,” said Vishnu Prakash, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs. He said good relations between the two countries is a “win win” situation for both that augurs well for the the region, stressing that the two are “partners” and not “combatants.”

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, meanwhile, expressed condolence over the loss of lives in China’s Qinghai province due to an earthquake and offered India’s assistance for victims of the tragedy. “I have learnt with deep sorrow of the devastation wrought in Qinghai province by a severe earthquake yesterday,” Manmohan Singh said.