Date
17 December 2017
President Xi Jinping holds a traditional umbrella as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi accompanies him to an official reception in Gujarat. Photo: Reuters
President Xi Jinping holds a traditional umbrella as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi accompanies him to an official reception in Gujarat. Photo: Reuters

Xi homes in on trade, border issues as India visit begins

Chinese President Xi Jinping has begun a three-day official visit to India, his first to the country, hoping to improve trade relations and resolve a decades-long border dispute.

Xi is expected to build on deepening economic ties between China and India, the world’s most populous countries, after Prime Minister Narendra Modi came to power in May, according to BBC News.

In July, the two leaders met on the sidelines of the sixth BRICS summit in Brazil and stressed the need to boost bilateral relations.

The visit comes amid renewed tensions over border areas in the Himalayan region over which the two countries fought a brief war in 1962.

Fresh tensions were reported by Indian media as Xi arrived in the western state of Gujarat, where he will attend a banquet hosted by Modi, coinciding with the Indian leader’s 64th birthday. 

Beijing and New Delhi have held numerous rounds of talks on their border dispute but all have been unsuccessful.

In the latest incident Indian troops challenged Chinese soldiers who trying to build a temporary road into the Indian territory across the Line of Actual Control (the de facto boundary) in the Ladakh region, the report said.

Trade between India and China has reached US$70 billion, with India running a trade deficit of US$40 billion, up from US$1 billion in 2001-2002, according to official Indian figures.

China is expected to offer billions of dollars to India’s creaky railway, manufacturing and infrastructure projects.

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