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Chinese Premier in India, Discusses Borders, Trade

Indian Prime Minister Manmohan an Singh and his visiting Chinese counterpart have agreed to resolve a border dispute and other tensions, as Premier Li Keqiang continues his first trip abroad since taking office.

Mr. Singh and Mr. Li met Monday in New Delhi to discuss several issues, including the longstanding border dispute in the western Himalayas and a trade imbalance that heavily favors China.

At a joint news conference, Mr. Li said the two nations have far more shared interests than differences.

"'Since we are strategic partners and we are good friends that can speak to each other with candor, so we do not deny that there are some problems between the two sides.''

Mr. Singh said both sides must work to strengthen trust and confidence in order to permit greater cooperation.

"We agreed that our special representatives will meet soon to continue discussions, seeking early agreement on a framework for a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable boundary settlement.''

The two leaders signed eight minor agreements, but both men said the meeting's symbolism was important

China says placing India first on the itinerary of its new premier demonstrates the importance Beijing places on the relationship between the two countries.

There was tight security in the Indian capital, as Tibetan activists and opposition supporters held protests in the city.

The three-day visit came less than two weeks after the peaceful end of a tense military standoff over tens of thousands of square kilometers in the disputed Ladakh region. China and India have never finalized their border there, and tensions subsided only when the two sides restored the status quo.

Premier Li, accompanied by a large business delegation, is expected to visit India's financial hub of Mumbai to meet top executives and visit India's largest Information Technology company (Tata Consultancy Services).

New Delhi wants more access for its companies to China's IT and pharmaceutical sectors, where India has an advantage. Indian officials say "they hope for results very soon."

China is India's largest trading partner.

After India, Mr. Li is set to visit Pakistan, Switzerland, and Germany in an effort to carry the message that China wants more open relations and should not be seen as a threat.

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