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Hu visit to add substance to India-China ties

Written by: Staff
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New Delhi, Nov 20 (UNI) The visit of Chinese President Hu Jintao to India is expected to convert the relationship between the two Asian economic giants into a "more mature one" and will give substance to the 'Strategic Partnership' between the two countries, reflecting a global dimension to their growing ties, official sources said today.

The Chinese President will have talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh here tomorrow on several issues including the Indo-US Civilian Nuclear Agreement, the sources said.

The role of the 45-nation powerful nuclear lobby--the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG)--whose nod is essential for the implementation of the deal, is also expected to come up during the discussions.

Asked whether New Delhi would persuade China to extend support to the deal when the matter comes up at the NSG, the sources said the matter would come up in general terms.

''The civilian nuclear agreement would certainly be discussed.

We have been talking informally to all NSG members but haven't asked them to take a stand. To characterise that position, would be unfair. We have not got to that stage yet,'' the sources added.

The two countries will also sign ten agreements including the Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPA).

President Hu will be given a Ceremonial Reception at Rashtrapati Bhaan tomorrow.

He will have official discussions with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh which will be followed by delegation-level talks between the two countries and teh signing of the agreements.

In the evening, Lok Sabha Speaker Somnath Chatterjee will call on him which would be followed by a meeting with UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi.

Vice-President Bhairon Singh Shekhawat will also call on him. Mr Hu will also meet President A P J Abdul Kalam.

On Wednesday, Leader of Opposition in Lok Sabha L K Advani will call on him in the morning.

Later Mr Hu will later depart for Agra and Mumbai.

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