India-China to hold Foreign Ministerial talks

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New Delhi, Sep 2 (UNI) Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi will visit India from September 7-9 for talks with External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee on bilateral, regional and global issues and for further strengthening the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Mr Yang, the first senior Chinese leader to visit India this year, will also call on Prime Minister Manmohan Singh besides holding delegation-level talks with the External Affairs Minister.

He will visit Kolkata to formally inaugurate the Chinese Consulate General there.

The Kolkata Consulate will be opened as part of an agreement between the two countries to open Consulates General in Guangzhou and Kolkata. The agreement was signed during Chinese President Hu Jintao visit to India in November 2006.

The External Affairs Minister had inaugurated India's Consulate General in Guangzhou in June.

''Foreign Minister of the People's Republic of China, Yang Jiechi, will be paying an official visit to India at the invitation of External Affairs Minister from September 7-9. Foreign Minister Yang will be visiting Kolkata and New Delhi. In Kolkata, he is scheduled to formally inaugurate the Consulate General of People's Republic of China. In New Delhi, he will hold delegation-level talks with the External Affairs Minister and will call on the Prime Minister,'' an External Affairs Ministry spokesman said.

Although officials were tight-lipped about what would be discussed at the meeting, sources said the issues of Tibet and Brahmaputra river would also be on the agenda.

Meanwhile, Beijing today made it clear that it was committed to developing ''strategic partnership'' with India while maintaining good neighbourly and friendly relations.

Mr Yang comes to India ahead of the expected visit by the Prime Minister to China on October 24-25 to attend the ASEM-7 Summit.

Dr Singh is also expected to meet Chinese leaders including Premier Wen Jiabo.

Dr Singh visited China in January this year.

The Congress also signed an agreement with the Chinese Communist Party this year for boosting cooperation between the two Parties.

The visit comes two days after the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), of which China is an important member, takes up the Indo-US civilian nuclear agreement to discuss whether or not to give India clean waiver for nuclear trade with the rest of the world.

UNI RB RR HS1842

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