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Manmohan Singh, Li Keqiang sign landmark Indo-China border pact

Beijing: India and China on Wednesday signed a border defence cooperation agreement besides agreeing to continue the momentum in the relationship by committing to continue high-level engagements between the two sides.

Addressing the press after he held delegation level talks with his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh, Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang said, “We have signed the border agreement, and we hope to maintain peace, tranquillity and stability in border areas.”

Both sides are committed to maintain momentum of regular high-level engagements and will issue a joint statement which will lay out plans for a strategic agreement between the two nations, Li said.

On his talks with the Indian Prime Minister, Keqiang said, “Just now I had a friendly, sincere and in-depth talk with the Prime Minister. I hope to foster better relation. I also appreciate the efforts made by Manmohan Singh to better ties between China and India.”

“Two sides have also agreed to hold counter terrorism training in China as well as work together to tackle terror. Trans border river cooperation agreement has also been signed by both sides,” he said.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh also expressed satisfaction at the progress made in talks with his Chinese counterpart.

“Prime Minister Li and I have just concluded a very productive round of talks…I suggested to Li that we do things that expand mutual trust, I received his full support for this roadmap,” Manmohan Singh said.

On the important border pact, Dr Singh said, “Agreement on Border Defence Mechanism will add to existing instruments to ensure peace and stability on our borders.”

“We have agreed peace and tranquillity must be the foundation of growth for both sides. Negotiations towards a fair, reasonable, acceptable solution to border, this will be our strategic benchmark,” he stressed.

On the economic front, Manmohan Singh said, “Premier Li was receptive to my concerns about imbalance of trade between India and China,” adding that both sides were “determined to inject new dynamism in our economic cooperation.”

He also said that India is talking forward the suggestion made by premier Li in Delhi of a Chinese industrial park. The possibility of BCIM corridor of connecting the two countries through the Silk Road is also being explored, he said.

Manmohan Singh also broached the stapled visa issue during talks with Li. “I hope that China will help facilitate visits of Indian nationals to China,” he said.

“China and India’s relations are above all a relationship between 2.5 billion people of our countries…When India and China shake hands the world notices,” he said.

Earlier, Manmohan and Li first held restricted delegation talks followed by detailed delegation level talks. The two sides then signed a series of agreements including the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA).

Earlier Singh was received at the Great Hall of the People and accorded a ceremonial Guard of Honour.

Both the prime ministers will also address business leaders attending the second India-China CEOs Forum being held on the sidelines of the Indian Prime Minister’s visit.

Ten top Indian industrialists led by Reliance Anil Ambani and prominent Chinese industrialists are taking part in the CEOs’ meeting.

Manmohan Singh is also scheduled to meet President Xi Jinping.

In a rare honour for an Indian leader, President Xi Jinping will host a dinner for Prime Minister Singh. He will also meet Zhang Dejiang, Chairman of the National People’s Congress, the Chinese Parliament.

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