Krishna arrives in Beijing on a four-day visit

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Beijing, April 5 (ANI): External Affairs Minister S. M. Krishna arrived here on a four-day visit to China on Monday evening along with a high-level delegation to hold discussions over various issues which concern both the countries.

Krishna was warmly welcomed at the Beijing airport by the Sun Weidong, Deputy Director General of Ministry of Foreign Affairs, China.

Krishna said that the main agenda of this tour would revolve around three core issues namely staple visa to the Kashmiris, illegal development work in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) and work permits to the Chinese workers.

During his China visit, Krishna is scheduled to hold meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and attend 'Festival of India' to be held in Beijing.

Krishna's official engagements would commence here from Tuesday with an address at the China Institute of International Studies, (CIIS) on Sino-Indian relations in the 21st century.

Earlier, while speaking to the media on board his aircraft, Krishna said that he was optimistic about this tour.

"This visit of mine is to further strengthen the relationship. It also happens to be the 60th year of the beginning of the diplomatic relationship between China and India. Hence, this is something which calls for a celebration, so both of us decided that we should celebrate this on a big scale, focussing on a cultural identities of the respective countries," Krishna said.

Krishna travels to China to strengthen ties, recently improved by a trade boom and cooperation over climate change that shifted the focus away from the two countries' border dispute.

The world's two most populous nations are putting the global financial crisis behind them more quickly than developed countries, and want to build on a decade of commercial growth that has pushed China to the top of India's list of trade partners.

Nearly half a century after war broke out between them, mistrust persists, especially over the 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq. miles) of land in Arunachal Pradesh state claimed by Beijing.

India is also participating in a big way in Shanghai World Expo in May.

The bilateral trade boom has been a mixed blessing for India, now grappling with a deficit in China's favour, which ballooned from a billion dollars in 2001-2 to 16 billion dollars in 2007-8, according to Indian central bank data.

But both sides say bilateral trade and investment lag far behind their potential and have agreed to even out trade flows.

The two countries are expected to lead a 9.5 percent expansion in global trade volumes projected by the World Trade Organisation in 2010.

Indian Foreign Minister Krishna's visit also coincides with the 60th anniversary of the stablishment of diplomatic relations between India and China. By Lokendra Singh (ANI)

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