April 10th, 2005
China looks to improve ties with India
Sunday, April 10, 2005 (Bangalore):
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived on a four-day visit to India on Saturday.
On the first day of his visit, Jiabao said China was ready to work with India in handling bilateral relations from a strategic perspective and properly settle questions left over from history.
"China attaches great importance to developing good neighbourly relations and friendly co-operation with India" Jiabao said.
The Chinese premier, who will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and other leaders in Delhi on Monday, said the purpose of his visit was to enhance China-India friendship and promote bilateral relations.
Business over border?
Meanwhile, Jiabao and his 140-member official delegation are in Bangalore on a two-day visit to strengthen the Bangalore-Beijing trade and technology ties.
The question on everyone's mind is whether the historic geo-political disputes be pushed under the carpet and business be made the mantra to bring Indo-China relations to a new high.
"Business is the most important part of our relationship. The boundary issue, I think, is no longer a problem. What we are doing with the boundary issue is just to remove it from the way of the overall development of our relations," said Sun Yuxi, Chinese Ambassador.
Chinese telecom companies like Huawei and ZTE have already set up base in Bangalore. Indo-China trade is presently at $14 billion, but the wish list in the immediate future is $18 billion.
"There are already 133 Indian companies that have started business in China and about 49 Chinese companies have set up their office or developed their business in India. So this cooperation already started a long time ago. We want to give it a big push to have further development on this," said Yuxi.
So what remains to be seen is whether the ice over the border dispute melt with the newfound bonhomie between Indian and Chinese corporate boardrooms.
The Chinese Premier, by choosing to come to Bangalore before going to Delhi, is making his point very clear that he means to put business before borders.
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