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Constructive meet in China says Manmohan Singh

News18

Updated: April 17, 2011, 8:21 AM IST
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Constructive meet in China says Manmohan Singh
Singh and Hu spoke about a wide-range of issues including trade imbalances.

On Board: The PM sounded optimistic on India's standing relations with China after he met Chinese President Hu Jintao earlier this week. He was on-board a special flight on the way back from Kazakhstan when he spoke to the media, expressing hope that the discussions would lead to the set up of new bilateral mechanisms on border management with China.

Singh said they spoke about a wide-range of issues including trade imbalances, and the Chinese President had agreed that his country too has a responsibility to deal with the problem.

"It was a very cordial meeting. We discussed bilateral issues and trade imbalance. We also discussed other relevant issues to the international situation and possibility of cooperation between our two countries in international fora like G-20, WTO and UN Security Council," Singh told reporters.

Singh and Hu met on the sidelines of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) Summit and among its significant outcomes was the decision to send a high-level Indian military delegation to China and set up a new mechanism for managing peace on the borders.

With regard to defence exchanges which are set to be resumed after a pause of about nine months, Singh said, "my expectation is that they will be continued."

India had suspended high-level defence exchanges in July last year after China refused proper visa to the then Northern Army Commander Lt Gen B S Jaswal as he was serving in Jammu and Kashmir. This was seen by India as questioning its
sovereignty.

About the new mechanism for border management, Singh said it was Chinese proposal made during the visit of Premier Wen Jiabao to New Delhi in December last.

"This is work in progress. I hope some concrete results will be visible in the near future," he remarked.

On the issue of growing trade imbalance in favour of China, Singh said he had raised the issue with Hu, saying that India imports goods and services which gives rise to the imbalance and the Chinese President recognised that it was a
problem.

Referring to India's desire for greater access to Chinese markets, the Prime Minister said he had specifically mentioned two areas, pharmaceutical industry and IT, where Chinese could do more.

"I can't say he (Hu) did say precisely about these two areas but he did say that he recognises that China also has a responsibility to tackle the problem of trade imbalance," Singh said.

With PTI inputs.

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