News / Asia

India, China Hold Talks on Boosting Trade, Border Disputes

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) gestures to his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj before their meeting in New Delhi, June 8, 2014.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) gestures to his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj before their meeting in New Delhi, June 8, 2014.
Anjana Pasricha
The Chinese and Indian foreign ministers have discussed ways to ease border tensions and enhance economic engagement in the Indian capital.  It is the first high level interaction between the Asian giants since a new government took power in India.
Following a three-hour meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj, Indian officials said both countries agreed there is tremendous untapped potential in their economic relationship.

Gautam Bambawale of India’s foreign ministry said China would look at the possibility of expanding economic cooperation between the two countries.

“How to promote Chinese investments into India including through possible industrial zones or parks that could be established here was discussed by the two foreign ministers.  Foreign Minister Wang also said that economic development of India is something that is supported by the Chinese government,” he said.

Indian officials say more Chinese investment could help bridge the huge trade deficit between the two countries, which they say has ballooned from $1 billion to more than $30 billion in China's favor over the last decade.

New Delhi wants more Chinese investment in infrastructure and manufacturing sectors - areas in which India lags and China excels.  

Foreign policy observers in India expect new Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase economic engagement with China as he tries to meet his campaign pledge to revive India's economy.  

Before arriving in India, the Chinese foreign minister expressed confidence in India's future in an interview with the Hindu newspaper and said his trip will focus on cementing the two nations' existing friendship and exploring future cooperation.

But the issue that has held back relations between the Asian giants also topped the agenda - their long standing border dispute in the Himalayas, which remains unresolved after years of negotiations.  Incidents involving alleged incursions by Chinese troops into what New Delhi says is its territory, have raised tensions in the past year.

India’s foreign ministry spokesman, Syed Akbaruddin, said several high level meetings were planned this year.  One will include a visit by the Chinese Premier to India.

“As the Chinese saying goes, 'The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step,' and that step was taken today by India’s new government and the Chinese government,” he said.

China has reached out to the new Indian government.  The Chinese Premier was the first foreign leader to call and congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his victory.  Modi described Beijing as “always a priority in India’s foreign policy.”

Despite taking an aggressive stance during his campaign with countries like China and Pakistan, Modi has adopted a pragmatic and proactive foreign policy approach since taking power.  He has indicated that building ties with neighboring countries will be a priority.

As the Chinese minister met Indian leaders in New Delhi, Tibetan activists staged protests in an area dominated by Tibetan refugees in the Indian capital.

Protestors like Tenzing Chodar of the Tibetan Youth Congress said they wanted India to play a greater role in their struggle.  

“We are here to raise awareness about Tibet and urge Prime Minister Modi when he meets Chinese foreign minister he should talk about Tibet, raise the issue of Tibet,” said Chodar.  

Tibetan refugees usually hold such protests when senior Chinese leaders visit India, which is home to the Dalai Lama and the headquarters of the Tibetan government in exile.  Tibetan leaders in India, who recently launched a renewed push for greater autonomy from Beijing, are hoping for more support from Prime Minister Modi.

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Comment Sorting
by: RPGosvvami from: Delhi, India
June 12, 2014 5:14 AM
Tibet, Xinziang & Mongolia vvere conquered by the Manchus, vvhom the |Chinese alvvays considered as foreigners. Mongolia got its independence the Nationalist Chinese overthrevv the Manchus. Tibet & Xinziang failed to do so. May be they vvill someday, as Mao said vvhat is hundred years in the life of a nation. Meanvvhile India and China vvill fight to retain borders that foreigners they did not like had created. Strange!

by: jonathan huang from: canada
June 09, 2014 10:19 AM
the truth is British invaded Tibet. In the nineteenth century, the British conquered Burma and Sikkim, occupying the whole southern flank of Tibet.
The expedition fought its way to Gyantse and eventually reached Lhasa, the capital of Tibet, in August 1904. The Dalai Lama had fled to safety, first in Mongolia and later in China, but thousands of Tibetans armed with antiquated muzzle-loaders and swords had been mown down by modern rifles and Maxim machine guns while attempting to block the British advance. At Lhasa, the Commission forced remaining low-level Tibetan officials to sign the Great Britain and Tibet Convention (1904), before withdrawing to Sikkim in September, with the understanding the Chinese government would not permit any other country to interfere with the administration of Tibet.-----wikipedia

You can see, the conflict between India and china actually was created by British which established the illegal McMahon line by force. Interesting that from here we can see that Tibet belonged to China long time ago. The amban later publicly repudiated the treaty, while Britain announced that it still accepted Chinese claims of authority over Tibet. Acting Viceroy Lord Ampthill reduced the indemnity by two-thirds and considerably eased the terms in other ways. The provisions of this 1904 treaty were revised in the Anglo-Chinese Convention of 1906.[41] The British, for a fee from the Qing court, also agreed "not to annex Tibetan territory or to interfere in the administration of Tibet", while China engaged "not to permit any other foreign state to interfere with the territory or internal administration of Tibet".[42][43][44]-----wikipedia

by: Anonymous
June 09, 2014 10:14 AM
India one economy sustainable and t impose justice environmental

by: NG from: Canada
June 09, 2014 3:49 AM
In 1950s-1960s, it is Indian army that moved north too far into China territory aggressively, relying on support from both Soviet Union and US, and ignoring China's warning. So China-Indian war happened in 1962, China won, but backed up 20 km from the border to try to have dialogue and negotiation with Indian. The 1962 war is mainly due to Indian aggressive so called "move forward and northbound" .

In 1980s, Indian army shoot one Chinese soldier and killed him, which almost cause second China-Indian war, fortunately Indian apologized and this incident subsided. China's focus is to develop its economy peacefully instead of conflict and war.

"Incidents involving alleged incursions by Chinese troops into what New Delhi says is its territory, have raised tensions in the past year". This comment from VOA is wrong and the reporter didn't do research at all before this prejudice.

by: Nigeshabi from: Canada
June 09, 2014 3:31 AM
China is a good business partner equally treating all types of peoples, and most of countries like to do business with China, it is one of the reasons why China trade with the World developed so quickly in the past 30 years. Chinese are credible and open to the world for win-win business at the price of hurting China's own environment. China is improving its environment and reduce pollution now, but it is hard, at least China didn't invade and colonize other countries like Japan has done in the past 100-200 years.

Peaceful and equal win-win business is essential for fast development, China is a good example although there are also some problems as a big developing country. .

by: Hovhannes from: Montevideo
June 08, 2014 5:06 PM
India would be better off opening up its economy, privatizing its huge and bureaucratic state monopolies, selling its state companies to private investors (local or foreign), rooting out state inefficiency, laying off needless public servants. China is undependable, it's not a reliable business partner.

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