On Board PM`s Special Plane: Sounding
optimistic on the India-China relations after his meeting with
President Hu Jintao earlier this week, Prime Minister Manmohan
Singh on Saturday night expressed hope that the decision to set up a new
bilateral mechanism on border management would bear "concrete
results" in the near future.
Giving a sense of the meeting with Hu on Wednesday in
Sanya, China, Singh said they had talked about a wide-range of
issues, including trade imbalance and the Chinese President
had agreed that his country too has a "responsibility" to deal
with the problem.
"It was a very cordial meeting. We discussed bilateral
issues and trade imbalance. We also discussed other relevant
issues to international situation and possibility of
cooperation between our two countries in international fora
like G-20, WTO and UN Security Council," he told accompanying
journalists while returning from a five-day two-nation tour of
China and Kazakhstan.
Singh and Hu met on the sidelines of the Brazil-Russia-
India-China-South Africa (BRICS) Summit and among its
significant outcomes were the decision to send a high-level
Indian military delegation to China and setting up of a new
mechanism for managing peace on the borders.
With regard to defence exchanges which are set to be
resumed after a pause of about nine months, Singh said, "my
expectation is that they will be continued."
India had suspended high-level defence exchanges in July
last year after China refused proper visa to the then Northern
Army Commander Lt Gen B S Jaswal as he was serving in Jammu
and Kashmir. This was seen by India as questioning its
About the new mechanism for border management, Singh said
it was Chinese proposal made during the visit of Premier Wen
Jiabao to New Delhi in December last.
"This is work in progress. I hope some concrete results
will be visible in the near future," he remarked.
On the issue of growing trade imbalance in favour of
China, Singh said he had raised the issue with Hu, saying that
India imports goods and services which gives rise to the
imbalance and the Chinese President recognised that it was a
Referring to India`s desire for greater access to Chinese
markets, the Prime Minister said he had specifically mentioned
two areas - pharmaceutical industry and IT -- where Chinese
could do more.
"I can`t say he (Hu) did say precisely about these two
areas but he did say that he recognises that China also has a
responsibility to tackle the problem of trade imbalance,"