India, China agree to step up defence and security dialogue

RIO De JANEIRO, June 21: India and China today agreed to step up their defence and security dialogue and work to take steps to ensure that the two countries achieve a USD 100 billion trade target by 2015.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao spoke of the need to continue with this dialogue at their 40-minute meeting on the sidelines of the Rio+20 Environment Summit here.

Briefing reporters after the meeting, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said that during the discussion on trade and economic cooperation Prime Minister Singh invited Chinese investment in infrastructure in India.

Mathai also said that Indian rice exports to China will commence soon.

Reflecting the good chemistry shared between them, Wen told Singh that their meeting in Brazil was the 13th between them.

Mathai said the two leaders also discussed the issue of trans-border rivers flowing in India and China during which Beijing agreed to transfer of information in this regard to New Delhi.

Official sources said this move sent a strong signal from China on sharing of information with India on the rivers issue. This was also important since India was a lower riparian country.

“Defence and strategic dialogue (between India and China) should continue and be stepped up,” Mathai said.

The two countries have already agreed to establish a “strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity”. They have also reiterated their intention to promote regular ministerial-level exchanges and make full use of the strategic dialogue and other bilateral dialogue mechanisms. Prime Minister Singh also spoke of Indian naval ships recently visiting China. (PTI)


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