Singh, Hu discuss border issue, global economic crisis

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Beijing, Oct 26 (UNI) India and China resolved to find an early solution to their border issue with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao deciding to ask their respective Special Representatives to intensify their discussions.

During a bilateral meeting between them on the sidelines of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) last evening, they also reiterated the importance of maintaining peace and tranquility in the border areas pending a final settlement of the vexed boundary question.

The meeting between Dr Singh and Mr Hu at the ''Great Hall of the People'' lasted for 50 minutes which was described by the Indian diplomats as ''very pleasant''.

''Overall, the bilateral meeting between Dr Singh and Mr Hu was marked by warmth,'' a top official of the Ministry of External Affairs told UNI.

Dr Singh raised the importance of bilateral collaboration on trans-boundary river issues.

Expressing satisfaction over the functioning of the expert level mechanism which had been set up in 2007, Indian Prime Minister said the experts on both sides could make more progress in future. The third meeting of the experts would be held next year.

The November 15 Summit convened by US President George Bush to discuss the global economic crisis figured in their discussion and agreed on the need and importance of proper preparation so that the outcomes of the Washington Summit could instil confidence in the international financial markets.

Dr Singh, a renowned economist himself, conveyed that the international financial situation was still not fully stable and further measures would be required by developed countries in order to stabilise the international situation.

He agreed that very active involvement of emerging countries and developing countries was very important in order to address the challenges.

''Both leaders have agreed to stay in touch on this matter.'' Mr Hu congratulated Dr Singh on the successful launch of Chandrayaan-I.

Dr Singh told mediapersons on board his aircraft on his way back home from Beijing that India-China trade turnover would meet the target of 60 billion dollars in 2010 from the present 40 billion dollars.

Dr Singh said he discussed the issue of international energy crisis with Mr Hu.

''Both of us agreed that this is a crisis in which India and China should remain in contact and even work with like-minded countries to find practical and pragmatic solutions to the problems that have arisen.'' This was the third meeting between the two leaders in 2008.

Referring to his participation in the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Dr Singh said though India participated for the first time in the meeting at the summit level, there was great eagerness to hear where India stood on all issues.

''whether it was a global financial crisis or whether it was the Millennium Development Goals or the issue of sustainable development, a great deal of attention was paid to India's viewpoint,'' he said.

UNI SH SBA RAI0420

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