Sinlung /
21 May 2013

China Seeks Access To Bangla, Myanmar via India's Northeast

New Delhi, May 21 : China has sought better access to Bangladesh and Myanmar markets through infrastructure development in India's North East linking these countries with China and other countries in the South East Asian region, even as the two countries agreed to maintain peace on the border.

The two sides took stock of the recent incident of Chinese incursion in Ladakh in the western sector and agreed to engage special representatives tasked with evolving further measures that may be needed to maintain peace and tranquility along the border.

The two sides expect an early agreement on a framework for a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable boundary settlement, prime minister Manmohan Singh said in a media statement after talks with visiting Chinese premier Li Keqiang.

Chinese premier on his part termed India and China as "strategic partners and good friends" that could speak to each other with candour.

Addressing a joint press conference with his Chinese counterpart after they held delegation-level talks at Hyderabad House, the PM said, ''An honour for me to welcome Premier Li to India, been an immense pleasure to get to know him personally.''

"Starting yesterday evening Premier Li and I have had wide ranging discussions. I am delighted that there are so many fields of convergence between India and China,'' the PM said.

India and China also signed eight agreements at the end of official delegation level talks between Li Keqiang and Manmohan Singh.

The agreement signed between the ministries of external affairs and commerce could see an increase in export of buffalo meat and fishery products to China.

The agreement signed by the two countries aims to help meet the regulatory requirements for such exports with respect to safety, hygiene and quarantine.

In a bid to enhance people-to-people contact, India and China also signed an agreement to facilitate co-operation and linkages between cities and states/provinces.

The two sides also agreed to conduct the Kailash-Mansarovar Yatra every year between May and September with the Chinese side saying that they would make further improvements to the existing facilities for pilgrims.

Besides, in a move that is likely to facilitate smooth communications, China has agreed to assist India in renting wireless sets and local SIM cards for those going on the pilgrimage.

Singh said that he sincerely appreciated the decision of Li to make India his first foreign trip since taking over.

He said that the rise of India and China is good for the world and the world has enough space for both.

The prime minister also invited Chinese investments in Indian infrastructure even as he sought greater market access for Indian goods in China.

The Chinese premier said that five areas covered in the joint statement include liberalisation of trade and investment and increasing people-to-people cooperation.

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