China-India sign 24 new agreements

World Today

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, left in background, and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang watch a Yoga and Taichi exercise event at Temple of Heaven Park in Beijing Friday, May 15, 2015. Modi said Friday that two days of talks yielded progress on issues ranging from a yawning trade imbalance to their continuing border dispute. (Kenzaburo Fukuhara/Pool Photo via AP)

China and India on Friday reached a number of practical agreements during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to China since he took office. Following a two-hour meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Modi in the morning, 24 agreements have been signed on areas ranging from high-speed railway, the military and border issues, to the establishment of a yoga college in the southwestern city of Kunming.

According to a joint statement released after the meeting, the two sides agreed that enhanced military ties are conducive to mutual trust and confidence. The two armies will hold their fifth joint counter-terrorism exercise this year.

Committed to better border cooperation, annual visits and exchanges are planned between the two military headquarters and neighboring military commands.

The two will work to balance currently skewed bilateral trade, including pharmaceutical and agricultural imports from India, and reducing tariffs for Indian products.

China is India’s largest trading partner with two-way trade totaling about 65.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2013, but India’s trade deficit with China has soared in recent years.

China is resolved to help India solve its infrastructure problems. An action plan on railway cooperation has been signed by China’s National Railway Administration and India’s Ministry of Railways.

The two sides decided to establish China-India Think Tanks Forum and High Level Media Forum, which will both meet annually, alternately in China and India.

As the world’s two largest developing countries, China and India have a huge potential of domestic needs as both are striving for industrialization and urbanization, Li said, adding local cooperation will stimulate the market.

Report by Xinhua.

Chidu Rajghatta on Indian PM’s visit to China
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