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UPDATED: September 26, 2014
China, India Step up Economic Engagement

The "Chinese Dragon" and the "Indian Elephant" are stepping up trade and investment engagement to forge a closer development partnership despite their border disputes left over by history.

The two Asian neighbors have agreed on investment in India's railways, industrial parks and the adjustment of their trade imbalance during the talks between visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi Thursday.

"Both China and India are influential countries in the world. When our two nations speak with one voice, the whole world will listen attentively," Xi told Modi during the talks.

If the "Chinese Dragon" and the "Indian Elephant" co-exist harmoniously and realize peaceful, cooperative development, he added, it will benefit 2.5 billion people in the two nations as well as those in other developing countries, and will have far-reaching effect in the region and the world as a whole.

The two sides agreed on cooperation to lift India's train speed and jointly explore the ways to upgrade railway stations and develop high-speed railways in the country, Xi told reporters after the talks.

The existing Chennai-Bangalore-Mysore railway line will be among the first to have the train speed increased, and the two countries will also launch training programs in heavy-haul transportation, he added.

Meanwhile, Xi said Beijing will take active measures to import more Indian pharmaceuticals and agricultural products that are sold well in China in a bid to balance bilateral trade.

In addition, China will establish two industrial parks in the western Indian state of Gujarat and the central state of Maharashtra that produce power transmission equipments and auto parts, respectively, he said.

Modi said India welcomes China to participate in his country's infrastructural development such as power generation and railways, and hopes to expand exports of pharmaceuticals and manufacturing products to China.

In the meantime, both leaders agreed to properly manage and control the border disputes between the two nations.

"On border issue, the two countries should continue to carry out friendly consultation to seek a fair and reasonable solution that both sides can accept," Xi said.

"Before the border issue is eventually solved, we should jointly manage and control our disputes in a proper way and maintain peace and tranquility in the border regions. We should not let the border issue affect our bilateral relations," he said.

For his part, Modi said India is willing to work with China in this regard, advance their negotiations and find a solution at an early date.

On Tibet-related issue, Modi reiterated that India will not allow Tibetans to conduct anti-China political activities in the country, reaffirming that Tibet is a part of the territory of the People's Republic of China.

On international cooperation, China welcomes and supports India to become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), Xi told Modi.

Founded in 2001, the SCO groups China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. It now has India as observer.

(Xinhua News Agency September 18, 2014)

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