Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao had “good discussions” on terrorism in the region on Sunday night, as India appeared optimistic of increasing Chinese support on the issue of civil nuclear cooperation.
Senior officials told Hindustan Times after a private dinner between Singh and Wen that the leaders had excellent discussions on a range of issues and the tone and tenor of Monday’s formal talks would be positive.
According to the officials, Indian and Chinese special representatives, who would meet again on Tuesday, had exchanged ideas on the framework of a possible border settlement between the two countries.
The framework itself flows from an agreement on guiding principles and parameters on how to settle the long-standing border dispute between the two countries reached in April 2005.
Now, a working group, reporting to the two special representatives tasked to hammer out a framework settlement, would look at some areas that appeared less difficult to resolve.
The two countries had agreed to promote civil nuclear cooperation consistent with their respective international commitments, and were now discussing some concrete possibilities, the officials added.
The PM’s wife Gursharan Kaur, Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, National Security Adviser M.K. Narayanan, Foreign Secretary Shivshankar Menon and Ambassador to China Nirupama Rao were the others invited to the dinner.
Earlier in the day, Singh told Indian businesspersons that the world should view the rise of India and China as “international public good” because this would spur global growth.
Singh, received at Beijing airport by Senior Vice-Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo, said that while the trade deficit with China was a matter of concern, they must take a longer-term view in promoting business.
He stressed that India needed to study China more intensively and develop its own perspective, a senior official at the interaction told this reporter.
India and China, the PM felt, would compete in some areas, and cooperate in others.
FICCI secretary-general Amit Mitra said business wanted greater Chinese investment. “They (Chinese companies) must put down equity in India.”
FICCI president Habib Khorakiwalla, CII chief Sunil Bharti Mittal, Zee TV head Subhash Chandra and Jet Air chief Naresh Goyal were among those who attended the meeting with the Prime Minister.