India, China ties poised for positive momentum

Beijing: India and China have set a target of scaling up their bilateral trade to USD 100 billion in next three years, External Affairs Minister S M Krishna said today.

India will continue to carry forward the positive momentum of bilateral cooperation and exchanges with China, he said. The economic and trade cooperation between India and China has witnessed a robust growth rate, Krishna who is on a visit here to inaugurate the new Indian Embassy here said in an interview to state-run Xinhua news agency.

"We have set a target of USD 100 billion for the year 2015," he said, "and I`m confident we will achieve this target." In order to further enhance economic consultation and cooperation, last year the two sides have launched the Strategic Economic Dialogue mechanism, Krishna said.

"We will continue to work hard to maintain the positive momentum of bilateral trade with China," he said. When asked about the border issue between the two countries, Krishna said it remains under discussion.

"There is no denying the fact that it is a difficult issue," he said, "however, a number of mechanisms, including the recently signed agreement on establishing a working mechanism for consultation and coordination over border issues have been put in place to ensure that the border stays peaceful while we seek a settlement of the boundary question."

The working mechanism will address issues and situations that may arise in the border areas that affect the maintenance of peace and tranquility, he said. And it will work actively toward maintaining the friendly atmosphere between the two countries.

"This mechanism is a significant step forward in the direction of maintenance of peace and tranquility along India-China border," Krishna said. Krishna arrived in China on Tuesday and attended the inauguration ceremony the South Asian country`s new Embassy complex in Beijing on Wednesday night.

Earlier, today, Krishna met with four high-ranking Chinese officials in Beijing, including Zhou Yongkang, a member of the Standing Committee of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC) Central Committee, State Councilor Dai Bingguo, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, and Wang Jiarui, head of the International Department of the CPC Central Committee.

"Naturally, this is also an opportunity to exchange views with the Chinese leadership on bilateral issues and international issues of common interest," he said.

"We have also decided to designate the year 2012 as the `Year of Friendship and Cooperation,`" Krishna said, "and we will hold a host of activities across China to celebrate the occasion throughout the year."

The governments of India and China have common or similar positions on the global development agenda, within the WTO and on climate change, he said adding that the two sides will continue cooperation and coordination in these areas.