India pushing ties with China

India pushing ties with China
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (C) talk as India's new Minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj (R) looks on during a meeting in New Delhi.

The new Indian government injected some momentum into ties with China saying it would "engage energetically" with its largest trading partner as Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Beijing's top diplomat.

Mr Modi and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, who was in India for a two-day visit as the special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, discussed bilateral issues yesterday.

Ahead of the meeting, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, addressing Parliament on the government's priorities, said India would engage energetically with China among others to push strategic ties, but would not shy away from "raising issues of concern... at a bilateral level" with any country.

Apart from boosting economic ties, cooperation in the area of counter-terrorism is expected to be high on the agenda of the two Asian giants.

China and India share concerns about terrorism. The Chinese government recently launched a campaign against Muslim Uighur separatists, whom it blames for fuelling violence in Xinjiang. India, for its part, has been the target of attacks by terror groups from across the border in Pakistan.

The two neighbours, however, have an uneasy relationship, with a festering dispute along parts of their 4,000km border a constant source of tension between them.

But economic ties have soared, with bilateral trade going past US$70 billion (S$87 billion).

Foreign policy analysts say the Chinese are keen to renew bilateral ties with India under Mr Modi, who visited China four times as Gujarat chief minister.

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