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‘India-China trade imbalance a matter of concern’

Smriti Kak Ramachandran
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Border issue may be discussed during Vice-President’s visit

Vice-President Hamid Ansari addresses a press conference on board his flight to China on Thursday. To his left is Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman.— PHOTO: PTI
Vice-President Hamid Ansari addresses a press conference on board his flight to China on Thursday. To his left is Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman.— PHOTO: PTI

Keen to enhance bilateral ties and trade relations, India and China are likely to discuss border issues at the talks scheduled during Vice-President Hamid Ansari’s Beijing visit starting Thursday.

Speaking to mediapersons on board a special aircraft, Mr. Ansari said: “China is a very important country, our most important neighbour, with whom our bilateral trade is almost at the top. Both governments are committed to furthering relations.”

While he declined to comment on the specifics of the talks, he said all matters on bilateral issues would be taken up. Mr. Ansari, who is on his first visit to China, said both nations were keen on giving a fillip to trade and investment. “Trade imbalance is a matter of concern for us. The government is seized of the matter.” He said the issue would be taken up by Minister of State for Commerce Nirmala Sitharaman, who is accompanying him, with her counterpart.

Bilateral talks apart, the Indian delegation will also participate in the 60th anniversary of the “Panchsheel Treaty” (five principles of peaceful coexistence).

Unusual gesture

In Xian, the first stop of the Vice-President, he was received by the Vice-Governor of Shaanxi Province, Wang Lixia. As a mark of honour to the visiting Vice-President, traffic in the city was halted to allow a free passage to the Indian delegation.

A senior official said this gesture is unusual in China as traffic is usually not halted even for their own heads of government.


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