Border row, trade top Sushma-Wang talks

Chinese FM says country ready to engage with India

Border row, trade top Sushma-Wang talks

China on Sunday made contact with the new government here, with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, a special envoy of President Xi Jinping, discussing a range of issues, including the boundary dispute, stapled visas and steps to boost trade, with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

The ministers are learnt to have deliberated at length on issues such as the boundary dispute, incursions, issuance of stapled visas by China to Indian citizens, construction of dams on Brahmaputra river and increased Chinese investments in the over-three-hour meeting.

Trade imbalance was a key highlight of the talks, and there could be some forward movement in allowing Chinese investment in India in sectors such as automobile and telecommunication.

India has also been pressing for opening up of Chinese markets to IT-enabled services, cotton textiles, home furnishings and pharmaceuticals to correct the trade imbalance.

China is India's biggest trading partner, with their bilateral trade standing close to $65 billion. But trade deficit in favour of China continued to mount at about $40 billion, showed official figures.

Wang, who arrived in the early hours of Sunday, is scheduled to call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee on Monday.

The visit comes a fortnight after Chinese Premier Li Keqiang called up Modi to congratulate him, which conveys “a flavour of the keenness with which both our leaderships are engaging with each other”, said External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.

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