Sino-India ties set to soar after roller coaster 2014

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Beijing, Dec 24: Sino-India relations experienced both highs and lows in 2014 which saw President Xi Jinping's visit to India amid concerns over Chinese border incursions but bilateral ties are set to soar with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's slated trip to Beijing in the coming months.

Modi is expected to make a high-profile visit here in the next few months following up on September trip of President Xi to India during which the two countries signed several agreements including setting up of two industrial parks in India with USD 20 billion Chinese investment besides cooperation to modernise Indian railways.

Sino-India ties

He is expected to formally inaugurate a new route for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra through Nathu La in Sikkim which would for the first time enable Indian pilgrims to travel to highly popular religious places by buses without undertaking an arduous journey by trekking or on mules.

Indian Ambassador to China Ashok K Kantha accompanied by top Chinese officials has already made a tour of Tibet to finalise the arrangements before Prime Minister's visit here.

This year has ended on a positive note with an Indian railways team holding comprehensive talks with Chinese counterparts on conducting a feasibility study of the high speed rail line between Delhi and Chennai besides track up-gradation.

India currently is considering two corridors for high speed trains. While Japan is conducting a feasibility study for the bullet train project on the Mumbai-Ahmadabad corridor, China will do the same for the Delhi-Chennai route which is expected to begin by early next year.

If it materialises, the Indian bullet train project is a major gain for China which is making an aggressive pitch to market its high speed train technology outside the country.

Besides the high speed train, India and China have agreed to cooperate to identify the technical inputs required to increase speeds on the existing railway line from Chennai to Mysore via Bangalore.

All these projects are expected to take shape during Modi's visit, including the operationalisation of the two industrial corridors that China has agreed to set up in Gujarat and Maharashtra with an investment of USD 20 billion.

India is asking China to step up investments as a measure to address the trade deficit which averages around USD 35 billion a year. Last year the trade volume reached USD 66.47 billion with balance heavily tilted in China's favour.

PTI

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