Sino-Indian ties hailed

08:38, December 17, 2010      

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On a trip to New Delhi that experts are casting as aiming to build mutual trust, Premier Wen Jiabao told his Indian counterpart, Manmohan Singh, Thursday to "seize the opportunity" to expand the countries' mutual interests, adding that the giant Asian neighbors were "at a crucial stage of development."

"The two governments agree that there is enough space in the world for the development of both countries and enough areas for them to cooperate," Wen said at the Indian Council of World Affairs Thursday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

Wen was accompanied by a hefty Chinese business delegation that enjoyed profitable returns by signing business deals worth $16 billion with their Indian counterparts.

The biggest hitters of the day were Shanghai Electric and China Development Bank, which inked a $4.63 billion deal with India's Reliance Power.

A memorandum of understanding worth $3.6 billion was also signed by Adani Power Dahej with Chinese players SEPCOIII Electric Power Construction and Shandong Tiejun Electric Power Engineering.

The banking sector, which was expected to be central to the talks, also saw happy returns, with China Development Bank signing a $400 million agreement with India's ICICI Bank.

Consensus was also reached on exports, with both parties agreeing to boost Indian exports to China in order to try and tackle a current $20 billion yearly trade surplus titled in Beijing's favor, AFP reported, adding that pledges were made to boost bilat-eral trade to $100 billion by 2015.

On the list of deals released by the Confederation of Indian Industry, the detailed export increases agreed upon include the purchasing of Indian rapeseed, frozen fish and iron ore.

During talks earlier Thursday, Singh told Wen that a strong Sino-Indian partnership would boost peace, stability and prosperity in Asia, the Hindustan Times reported.

The two leaders hailed the creation of a direct hotline between them, and reiterated their desire to consult together regularly on important issues, a joint communiqué said.

Meanwhile, the two countries' foreign ministers will begin exchanging visits annually.

The two sides also announced that 2011 would be the Year of China- India Exchange and agreed to establish a Strategic Economic Dialogue to enhance macro-economic policy coordination.

Referring to border issues, Wen addressed them as a "historical legacy" and said, "It will not be easy to completely resolve this question. It requires patience and will take a fairly long period of time."

By Yu Miao, Global Times

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