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Indian, Chinese Prime Ministers Talk Trade, Border Dispute

  • VOA News

Meeting for the first time, leaders of the world's two most populous nations, India and China, pledged to boost bilateral trade and work to resolve their longstanding border dispute.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, met for 80 minutes Tuesday, after arriving in Fortaleza, Brazil, for the BRICS summit.

In this photograph received from the Press Information Bureau (PIB) and taken on July 14, 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.

In this photograph received from the Press Information Bureau (PIB) and taken on July 14, 2014, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping during the BRICS summit in Fortaleza, Brazil.

The two leaders discussed cooperating on infrastructure and boosting bilateral trade, according to Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin, who added that Xi "did acknowledge that for trade ties to be sustainable, there needs to be much more balanced approach to trade."

Bi-lateral trade grew to $66 billion in 2012 and is targeted to reach $100 billion by 2015. Indian leaders have expressed concern about the trade deficit and desire greater access to Chinese markets.

Akbaruddin said Xi invited Modi to attend November's meeting of the 21-nation APEC (Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation) in Beijing. The spokesman said this is the first time that India, which is not a member, has been invited to an APEC meeting.

Regarding the boundary issue, Modi emphasized the need to find a solution and maintain peace and tranquility along the Indian-Chinese border.

Numerous rounds of talks between both countries have failed to clearly demarcate the Line of Actual Control in the region that was the site of a brief war between the two countries in 1962.

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