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Beijing Warms Up To Delhi's Aspirations At UN High Table

China announced support to India's candidature for the non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council during 2011-12, expressed understanding of India's aspirations for a permanent seat, and offered to work together in the reform
PTI May 28, 2010 11:19 IST
PTI
China announced support to India's candidature for the non-permanent seat at the United Nations Security Council during 2011-12, expressed understanding of India's aspirations for a permanent seat, and offered to work together in the reform of global institutions, reports Express India.

Beijing's welcome assurances came during President Pratibha Patil's talks with Hu Jintao, President of China and General Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party.

Patil, who arrived here on Wednesday, was given a ceremonial welcome at the Great Hall of the People, on the edge of Tiananmen Square. She met China's highest leadership, including Premier Wen Jiabao and Wu Bangguo, chairman of the National People's Congress.

Briefing reporters on Patil's talks, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao said the Chinese leadership understood India's aspiration and desire to play a larger role, the patent need for Security Council China warms up to India aspirations at UN reform and enhanced representation of developing countries.

“They are listening very carefully to what we are saying, and there is increasing awareness of India's legitimate concerns,” Rao said.

Given that UNSC reform is currently a matter of debate and many ideas are being generated, “this is a very opportune moment for countries like India and China to establish perfect communication on the issue”, Rao said.

China's forward-leaning positions on India's role in global governance is being seen here as part of the new warmth between the two countries after they surprised the world through successful cooperation at the Copenhagen summit on climate change last December. Patil and her Chinese interlocutors today agreed to continue with this spirit at the next round of climate talks in Cancun, Mexico.

The well-meaning if awkward bonhomie was evident at the banquet, where Chinese music was interspersed with Hindi movie songs like ‘Mera Naam Chin Chin Chu' from the film Howrah Bridge, ‘Baar Baar Dekho' from China Town, ‘Gore Gore O Baanke Chore' from Samadhi and ‘Roja, Jaaneman' from Roja.

In calling for stronger economic and trade relations, Patil raised the question of India's adverse trade balance with China. She pressed for better access to the Chinese market in various sectors, including pharma, engineering goods, IT and IT services, and agricultural goods.

The President underlined the importance of a larger Chinese banking presence in India. There are currently 11 Indian banks operating in China, but there are no Chinese banks in India.

Both sides welcomed the steady progress in the resolution of the boundary question, and stressed the need for peace and tranquility on the frontiers pending a settlement.

They placed stress on the need for greater educational and cultural ties, and dwelt on ancient and modern Buddhist links between India and China. President Hu announced Chinese support for a gallery on Tagore in China.

Three agreements were signed, on streamlining the visa process for airlines staff of both countries, on human resource exchange in the civil services and public sector (study trips, lectures, etc.) and on sports cooperation.

On the management of the Brahmaputra waters, Patil underscored the importance of effective bilateral mechanisms. On its part, China agreed to share lean season data with India.

Pointing to the new maturity in the Sino-Indian engagement, Rao gave high marks to the current state of bilateral relations. “If you look at the GPA of the whole relationship, I would give it a 4.0,” said Rao.

Affirming that India-China relationship was on a roll, Rao said differences on one or two issues would no longer damage the entire partnership.