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China and India look to strengthen relationship

China and India vowed to enhance their bilateral ties and to cooperate in hosting the upcoming Group of 20 (G20) summit in Hangzhou as well as another meeting between emerging-market nations.

The pledge was made at a meeting between Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Saturday.

Wang said one of the major aims of his trip was to conduct strategic communications with India ahead of the G20 summit, to be held in Hangzhou next month, and the BRICS summit involving China, India, Brazil, Russia and South Africa in India in October.

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Modi is expected to participate in the G20 summit, and President Xi Jinping will join the BRICS summit in Goa, India.

The meeting between Wang and Modi was held as India steps up its efforts to join the Nuclear Suppliers Group, a bloc of 48 countries that seeks to control the export of materials and technology that can be used to produce nuclear weapons. Beijing has not given the green light for India to join the group.

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China and India have ongoing border disputes, which have led in the past to confrontations. However, Wang was quoted by Xinhua as saying he was satisfied with the development of bilateral ties between the two nations.

“China and India should not let specific differences affect the overall situation of friendly bilateral ties, nor should they let individual problems obstruct the course of cooperation,” Wang said. He added that the two sides had reached a consensus that problems should be resolved in a spirit of mutual trust.

In a separate meeting with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj, Wang said the two nations should enhance cooperation in building railways and industrial parks, as well as in security, anti-terrorism and tourism.

Indian media reported that Swaraj had raised concerns over the development of a China-Pakistan economic corridor in Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

Zhao Gancheng, a South Asian affairs analyst at the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said he expected Modi and Xi to discuss trade and investment on the sidelines of the G20 summit.

Zhao noted that India was a key member of the Beijing-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, and that Shanghai was the headquarters of the New Development Bank, also known as the BRICS bank.

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“Chinese companies are boosting their overseas investment, and India poses a significant market for that,” he said.

“The two nations will focus more on economic issues in the coming terms.”

Zhao said the communication mechanisms between the two countries had helped reduce tensions from territorial disputes over the past few years.

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