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China, India promise closer relations

Feb. 9, 2012 at 1:54 AM   |   Comments

BEIJING, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- China and India, who fought a war in 1962 over unresolved border issues, pledged to improve ties, Chinese media said on the visit of India's foreign minister.

In a lengthy report on the trip of Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna, Xinhua News Agency quoted analysts as saying the minister's visit involved more than inaugurating his country's new embassy in Beijing.

The two South Asian nuclear giants, whose relations have not always been cordial, have lately sought to bring about an improvement even as India remains concerned about China's military growth, its close ties with traditional rival Pakistan and its growing influence in the Indian Ocean.

China too is concerned as India strengthens its military to meet any threat and looks on with suspicion at New Delhi's closer ties with the United States.

Krishna said "a modern and expansive chancery (Embassy) clearly reflects our expectations of ties with China," Xinhua said. The visitor Wednesday met with Chinese leaders including Communist Party Polit Bureau member Zhou Yongkang and Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

Xinhua quoted Ma Jiali, an India expert at the Center for Strategic Studies of the China Reform Forum, as saying the meetings showed both China and India "attach great importance to and have great enthusiasm for" the development of the bilateral ties.

Zhou said China and India, as the world's largest developing economies, have multiple opportunities for bilateral cooperation, and that the two can deepen political trust and properly handle questions left over by history such as border issues to safeguard peace in border areas.

Last month, China and India signed an agreement in New Delhi to set up a working mechanism relating to their border affairs.

Tibet is one of the issues of friction between the two sides as Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama lives in exile in India. Krishna said India recognizes Tibet as a part of China and will not tolerate anti-China activities on Indian territory.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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