India, China agree to strengthen bilateral relations

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Brasilia, April 15 (ANI): The Indian Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, and the Chinese President Hu Jintao held a bilateral meet here on Thursday in which both the leaders agreed to the need of further strengthening their relations, particularly in trade and investment sectors.

Dr. Singh met Mr. Hu in this Brazilian capital on the sidelines of the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) and Brazil- Russia-India-China (BRIC) Summits.

Both leaders are here to participate in the IBSA and BRIC summits.

Though India and China remain divided on major sensitive issues including the border issue, but Prime Minister Manmohan Singh has said that both the countries must look forward to improve their relations, particularly in trade and investment sectors.

On Wednesday, ahead of the talks, Dr. Singh had stated that India and China were working very hard to find a practical and pragmatic solution to the boundary question and its resolution would take time.

Later, Ministry of External Affairs spokesman Vishnu Prakash informed reporters that the bilateral meet between Dr. Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao was cordial and lasted for 40 minutes.

Both the leaders, during the meet, expressed their desire to achieve a target of 60 billion dollars in bilateral trade.

Other issues discussed in the meet included climate change and terrorism, he informed.

Both the leaders also agreed upon to increase cooperation in education, science and technology, agriculture , defense, trade sector, etcetera, he further added.

Meanwhile, following the 7.1 magnitude earthquake in southwest China on Wednesday, President Hu Jintao will be leaving Brasilia earlier than scheduled. He is expected to leave for China later in the evening today.

In the wake of Chinese President's early departure, both-- IBSA and BRIC summits, previously scheduled for April 15 and 16 respectively, will now be conducted here today itself.

Prime Minister Dr. Singh would also leave for India six hours earlier than his previous schedule and reach India on Saturday afternoon. By Ravinder Singh Robin(ANI)

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