China, India sign concrete agreements as relations warm

2015-05-16 00:34:30 GMT2015-05-16 08:34:30(Beijing Time)  Xinhua English
hinese Premier Li Keqiang (R back) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L back) attend a document signing ceremony after their talks in Beijing, capital of China, May 15, 2015. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)hinese Premier Li Keqiang (R back) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L back) attend a document signing ceremony after their talks in Beijing, capital of China, May 15, 2015. (Xinhua/Pang Xinglei)

China and India on Friday reached a number of practical agreements during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's first visit to China since he took office.

Following a two-hour meeting between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Modi in the morning, 24 agreements have been signed on areas ranging from high-speed railway, the military and border issues, to the establishment of a yoga college in the southwestern city of Kunming.

"We just had in-depth talks and touched a wide range of topics, which we both expected to yield common ground and results. It is fair to say that we met the expectations," Li told reporters after the talks.

"I discussed many issues with Premier Li, which will take our relations in a positive direction. Our cooperation will not only benefit the two countries, but will send a positive signal to the world," he said.

According to a joint statement released after the meeting, the two sides agreed that enhanced military ties are conducive to mutual trust and confidence. The two armies will hold their fifth joint counter-terrorism exercise this year.

Committed to better border cooperation, annual visits and exchanges are planned between the two military headquarters and neighboring military commands.

The two will work to balance currently skewed bilateral trade, including pharmaceutical and agricultural imports from India, and reducing tariffs for Indian products.

China is India's largest trading partner with two-way trade totaling about 65.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2013, but India's trade deficit with China has soared in recent years.

China is resolved to help India solve its infrastructure problems. An action plan on railway cooperation has been signed by China's National Railway Administration and India's Ministry of Railways.

The two sides decided to establish China-India Think Tanks Forum and High Level Media Forum, which will both meet annually, alternately in China and India.

According to the statement, the two countries agreed to establish a State/Provincial Leaders' Forum. Li and Modi attended the first meeting of the forum on Friday morning.

As the world's two largest developing countries, China and India have a huge potential of domestic needs as both are striving for industrialization and urbanization, Li said, adding local cooperation will stimulate the market.

China and India also published a joint statement on climate change.

Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping in his ancestral home in Shaanxi Province at the start of his three-day visit on Thursday.

He also met with Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), at the Great Hall of the People on Friday.

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