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What PM Modi Said in Note Delivered Today to Chinese President

Author: Agencies
Publication: NDTV.com
Date: September 9, 2014
URL: http://www.ndtv.com/article/india/what-pm-modi-said-in-note-delivered-today-to-chinese-president-589097?pfrom=home-lateststories

China's President Xi Jinping will make his first state visit to India next week, as Beijing seeks to allay fears that it is encircling its neighbour.

Earlier this month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi spent five days in Japan and pledged to take ties to a "new level" with Japan, a move seen as an attempt to shore up regional alliances to counter China's increasingly aggressive territorial claims.  In Tokyo, Mr Modi was critical of  countries with an "expansionist" mindset, a coded jibe against Beijing. 

Today, Indian National Security Adviser Ajit Doval met President Xi in Beijing, saying that he carried a letter from PM Modi. "When it was decided you will be visiting India, Prime Minister Modi was extremely keen that you come to his home-town of Vadnagar," Mr Doval said to the president.

From economic parity in 1980, China's growth has outstripped India's fourfold. Its rising economic presence in the Indian Ocean region has stoked concerns in New Delhi that China is creating a "string of pearls" that surrounds India and threatens its security.

Beijing has also moved to establish port facilities elsewhere in South Asia, in Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

While China and India have close economic and historical links, there is deep suspicion too, fuelled by a festering border dispute.

Chinese troops last month advanced into disputed territory claimed by India, official sources said, raising tensions after a similar incident the previous year. Chinese assistant foreign minister Liu Jianchao said today that "both sides hope they will find acceptable solutions as soon as possible" to the border issue, without giving details.

China is India's biggest trading partner, with two-way commerce totalling close to $70 billion. But India's trade deficit with China has soared to more than $40 billion from just $1 billion in 2001-02, Indian figures show.

Beijing sent Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Delhi in June soon after Mr Modi's landslide election victory, delivering a message that India and China were "natural partners".

President Xi and Mr Modi also met at a summit of the BRICS emerging economic powers in Brazil in July.
 
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