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China, India begin strategic talks

The two-day talks are the second since the Asian giants decided last year to have closer diplomatic & economic ties.

world Updated: Jan 09, 2006 11:11 IST

Thesecond round of talks between India and China,aimed at ironing out difficulties over their disputed border and strengthening their strategic partnership,began on Monday morning, an Indian official said.

Indian Foreign Secretary Shyam Saran is currently in a meeting with China's Vice Foreign Minister Wu Dawei in the Chinese capital, Vijay Nerma, an Indian embassy spokesman said.

Military strategy and their decades-old dispute over the shared border would be among the topics discussed, Nerma said. He declined to give further details.

The two-day talks are the second since the two Asian heavyweights decided last year to build closer diplomatic and economic ties.

Saran will also meet with China's Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and Vice Foreign Minister Dai Bingguo before he leaves for New Delhi on Tuesday night, Nerma said.

India's major concern is Beijing's proximity to Pakistan. China is a long-time weapons supplier to Pakistan.

But their fast-growing economies and expanding search for markets have drawn China and India closer.

Trade has grown exponentially and the two sides have chalked out an ambitious plan to double bilateral trade from the current $13.6 billion (€0.5 billion) to $30 billion (€23 billion) by 2010.

In April last year, Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao during a four-day trip to India said the two sides could form a formidable team a provide a powerful voice for developing countries. India has also offered to hold joint naval exercises with the Chinese military.

First Published: Jan 09, 2006 10:12 IST