PM asks China to be sensitive to India's 'core issues' | world | Hindustan Times
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PM asks China to be sensitive to India's 'core issues'

PM Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao today agreed that there was enough space in the world for both the countries to grow as they met here in the first top level contact since the high-level defence exchanges were suspended in July following the row over stapled visas issued for people of J&K.

world Updated: Oct 29, 2010 13:07 IST

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao today agreed that there was enough space in the world for both the countries to grow as they met here in the first top level contact since the high-level defence exchanges were suspended in July following the row over stapled visas issued for people of Jammu and Kashmir.

Wen also said that he would be visiting India by the end of this year before which he wanted a "strong foundation" to be laid to make it successful.

The Chinese premier is expected to visit India on December 16.

As he met Singh here on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit, the Chinese Premier talked about the "shared history" of India and his country.

In his opening remarks at the meeting, he said there was space in the world for both the countries to grow for which "cooperation" was needed.

Singh, while expressing happiness over meeting Wen for the 10th time in the last six years, reiterated that India and China could grow as there is enough space for the ambitions of both the countries.

The meeting took place in the backdrop of China's refusal to relent on its policy of issuing stapled visas to people of Jammu and Kashmir, an action which is seen as questioning India's sovereignty.

China started the practice of issuing the stapled visas about two years back and the issue triggered a major row in July this year when Beijing wanted to give such a visa to India's Northern Area Commander Lt Gen B S Jaswal.

India responded by suspending high-level defence exchanges for which Lt Gen Jaswal was travelling to Beijing and has repeatedly made it clear that these will remain on "pause" till China reverts to its earlier position on Jammu and Kashmir.

The two leaders are understood to have discussed economic aspects of the relationship amid India's concerns over trade imbalance in favour of China.

Trade between the two fast-growing economies has been increasing and is targeted to be USD 60 billion. However, it is in favour of China to the tune of about USD 15 billion, particularly because of lack of adequate access to India's pharmaceuticals and services in China.

India has been pressing China to give more free access and has been assured that it would be considered.