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China, India to ink key agreements next week-Ministry
October 19, 2013, 5:56 am

China and India will hold joint military exercises this year in China’s Sichuan Province [AP]

China and India will hold joint military exercises this year in China’s Sichuan Province [AP]

China and India will sign a series of bilateral agreements during Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s upcoming visit to Beijing, a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman said on Friday.

China and India are also looking to simplify visa procedures, spokeswoman Hua Chunying said.

“China welcomed the relaxation of visa restrictions as it will make the people-to-people exchange more convenient and benefit trade and economic cooperation between two sides,” she said during a regular briefing on Friday.

Singh will pay an official visit to China from October 22 to 24 at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang.

In May, Li visited India, where he and Singh reached broad consensus to further develop China-India relations.

“We are willing to work together with India to strengthen political mutual trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation, enhance communication and coordination on major international and regional issues to push forward bilateral strategic partnership,” Hua said.

India and China are also expected to sign a key border defence agreement during Singh’s visit.

Earlier this week, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said China hoped to not let border related issues affect the development of China-India relations.

China is ready to “break new ground” with India on the historical border talks, asserted China’s Special Representative Yang Jiechi earlier in June in Beijing.

“I stand ready to work with you to build on the work of our predecessors and break new ground, to strive for the settlement of the China-India boundary question and to make greater progress in the China-India strategic and cooperative parnership in the new period,” he told India’s National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon.

Beijing recently slammed attempts to provoke tension between India and China by “groundless” reports about an arms race in Asia.

“It is groundless and shows a lack of good will to use weapons equipment as a pretext to drive a wedge between China and India,” said China’s Ministry of National Defence spokesman Yang Yujun.

He was responding to a question about media reports alleging India’s aircraft carrier INS Vikrant is an attempt to target China.

China and India will hold joint military exercises later this year in China’s Sichuan Province to prepare for joint anti-terror operations.

India’s new Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh met China’s Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin for the fifth China-India Strategic Dialogue earlier this month.

The talks were held in the backdrop of an imminent NATO and international troops pullout from Afghanistan in 2014 that has sparked concerns of a return of unrest to the region.

The two Asian giants had recently held a strategic dialogue on Central Asia, focusing on their “very similar” approaches to regional and energy security in the strategically important region.

China is India’s second largest trading partner and the nations have set a trade target of $100 billion by 2015.


With inputs from Agencies

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