05/20/2013, 00.00
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Chinese Premier in Delhi, to strengthen "trust" and trade

It is the first foreign trip of Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who then will go on to Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany. He met his Indian counterpart Singh and recalled the "great importance" of bilateral relations., But did not mention the recent tension on the borders, caused by Chinese troops invading Indian territory.

New Delhi (AsiaNews / Agencies) - China and India want to build a relationship of mutual esteem and trust, a prerequisite for ensuring peace in the world. This was the what emerged at the end of the meeting, which lasted an hour, between Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang, during an official visit that began yesterday and will last three days. It is the first overseas trip of the new prime minister since the change in Beijing government - with the succession of Xi Jinping who took over from Hu Jintao as president.  In the coming days  Li will also visit Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany.

The meeting between Delhi and Beijing comes just a few weeks after the clash over the borders in the Himalayan region, which many feared would lead to an escalation of tension between the two Asian superpowers (economic and nuclear). The Chinese Premier confirmed the intention to strengthen cooperation with his Indian counterpart, noting that choosing Delhi as the first stop of a tour of foreign shows the "great importance" that Beijing reserves in its relationship with its neighbor.

During the informal meeting last night, Prime Minister Singh did not hide his fears about the recent military crisis, sparked by a Chinese army incursion of over twenty kilometers into the Indian territory. However, Premier Li did not want to mention the episode preferring to focus attention on the objectives of "mutual trust, cooperation and future challenges" that the two giants must foster.

"We must build a new type of relationship," added the Beijing Prime Minister, that can lead to a healthy and vigorous development, which will be "a real blessing for Asia and for the world."

China is already one of India's most important trading partners, two countries signed an agreement, according to which they have set a target of 100 billion dollars in bilateral trade to be achieved by 2015. During his three-day official visit of Prime Minister Li will also meet President Pranab Mukherjee, the Congress leader Sonia Gandhi and the leader of the parliamentary opposition Sushma Swaraj.


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