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India, China discuss joint Afghan projects

India and China Sunday discussed the possibility of working in collaborative projects in third countries, including joint initiatives in Afghanistan to tap large mineral resources.



Beijing: India and China Sunday discussed
the possibility of working in collaborative projects in third
countries, including joint initiatives in Afghanistan to tap
large mineral resources, as part of efforts to broad base
their relationship.

National Security Adviser (NSA) Shiv Shankar Menon,
who arrived here yesterday on a four-day visit as Prime
Minister Manmohan Singh`s special envoy began his high-level
engagements by holding talks with Chinese Foreign Minister
Yang Jiechi today.

After one and half hour talks at the Foreign Ministry
here, Yang accompanied by Menon told the Indian media that
"talks went off very very well... we have a tour of the whole
horizon" of issues.

A significant part of the discussions between Menon
and Yang reportedly centred on economic issues and the booming
trade between the two countries that is expected to touch a
new of high of USD 60 billion this year.

Apparently issues relating to Pakistan and the visit
of Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari to China beginning from
July 6 reportedly to firm up cooperation to build two nuclear
power plants figured in the talks.

"We also went to specifics about certain aspects of
our relationship," Yang said without directly referring to
Pakistan and India`s concerns to the two nuclear reactors.

These issues were expected to figure in Menon`s
scheduled talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and State
Councillor Dai Bingguo tomorrow.

India has expressed reservations over China`s proposed
nuclear deal with Pakistan under which it will provide two
nuclear reactors to Pakistan.

"We talked a lot about high level exchanges and visits
and (steps) to further boost trade volume to create even
better conditions for mutual investment, cooperation and even
talked about the possibility of cooperation on certain
subjects in other countries and let us have three or four
party collaborative projects in the economic field as well,"
he said.

Yang`s reference to projects in third country was
interesting as the two sides apparently discussed
collaborative projects including in Afghanistan where they
want to tap trillions of dollars worth mineral resources
jointly with other countries.

Recent reports said huge deposits of iron, copper,
cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium were
large enough to transform Afghanistan into one of the most
important mining centres in the world.

India, China, United States and a vast number of
European countries which are present in Afghanistan could work
out a joint initiative to tap the resources which could change
the face of poverty-stricken Afghanistan reeling under a
Taliban insurgency.

PTI

From Zee News

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