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China, India sign 24 agreements as relations warm

Updated: May 15,2015 9:09 PM

Premier Li Keqiang and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi reached a consensus to seek mutual development, deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields and foster closer partnership, during talks in Beijing on May 15.

China and India on May 15 reached a number of agreements during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to China since he took office last year.

The two countries inked 24 deals after Premier Li Keqiang and Modi held prolonged talks that ran on nearly an hour more than scheduled. The deals, which Indian media say are worth more than $10 billion, include a joint action plan for railroad collaboration this year.

“We just had in-depth talks and touched on a wide range of topics, which we both expect to yield common ground and results. It is fair to say that we met expectations,” Li said after the talks with Modi.

Regarding the border question and other sensitive issues, Li reiterated the Chinese stance by asking both sides to demonstrate vision, keep negotiations going and establish mechanisms for cooperation.

To usher in a truly “Asian Century”, he said, the two countries need to focus on promoting strategic cooperation and common development.

China is in discussions with India to help it build the world’s second-longest high-speed railroad linking New Delhi in the north to the southern city of Chennai, the country’s latest effort to push for a bigger share of the overseas high-speed train market.

Other deals signed cover mining, education, space, quality supervision, film and television, ocean and earthquake science.

Bilateral trade increased from $4.95 billion in 2002 to $70.6 billion in 2014, although it accounts for less than 2 percent of China’s total trade last year, according to statistics provided on China’s State Council website. The two countries previously set a target of raising that figure to $100 billion this year.