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Vajpayee Urges Cooperation Between Chinese, Indian Computer Companies - 2003-06-26

India's prime minister is urging computer companies in China and India to work together to boost prosperity in both nations.

Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee says China's computer manufacturing expertise is a natural compliment to India's world-class software skills.

India's prime minister told a business group in Shanghai the nations also could share lessons learned as they try to bring the Internet to more of their citizens.

He says until now, an "awareness gap" has slowed efforts to work together.

Mr. Vajpayee is nearing the end of a visit to China. His trip was aimed at finding ways to double the $5 billion worth of trade between the two nations and to improve overall relations.

The prime minister earlier said Sino-Indian relations have been "transformed" by his visit, an assessment shared by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Kong Quan.

Mr. Kong says the meetings between Mr. Vajpayee and China's president and other top leaders will have a very significant influence on improving relations.

Relations have been strained for decades because of a border dispute that in the 1960s caused a war between the two countries. In addition, India's government has long been wary of China's close relationship with Pakistan.

During Mr. Vajpayee's trip, the two sides signed a series of agreements on trade and other issues.

Analysts say China and India made progress by focusing on trade and appointing high-level officials to work out the border dispute. Growing economic and diplomatic ties mean the territorial dispute is no longer the only thing that defines relations.