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Asia-Pacific

Chinese PM aims for trade and harmony in India

media Tibetan exiles burn an effigy during a protest march against Wen Jiabao's … Reuters/Adnan Abidi

Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao arrived in India on Wednesday for a three-day official visit to India aimed at boosting trade ties between the two countries. India and China are expected to sign trade agreements worth nearly 12 billion euros. Wen and his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh have both said that the world is large enough to accommodate the growth and ambition of both countries.

"China and India are partners for cooperation, not rivals in competition," Wen told a business forum on Wednesday.

Wen, making his first visit to India in five years, came with a 400-member delegation of Chinese business leaders.

Bilateral trade is set to reach 45 billion euros this fiscal year, up from 31 billion the year before.

Wen acknowledged India’s concerns over a 18-25-billion trade surplus in China’s favour and said China is ready to facilitate access of Indian IT and pharmaceutical products to the Chinese market.

Talks on Thursday will touch on the disputed Himalayan border, which caused a brief war in 1962 and has been the focus of 14 rounds of negotiations.

China complained last year over visits to the northeast state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims, by Prime Minister Singh and the Dalai Lama.

Earlier Wednesday, hundreds of Tibetan exiles marched in New Delhi against Chinese rule in Tibet, burning an effigy of Wen and vowing to keep up their protests until the premier leaves India for Pakistan on Friday.

Wen's visit comes at a time when the Chinese ambassador to India said relations were "very fragile, easy to damage and difficult to repair".

China complained last year over visits to the northeast state of Arunachal Pradesh, which China claims, by Prime Minister Singh and the Dalai Lama.

Earlier Wednesday, hundreds of Tibetan exiles marched in New Delhi against Chinese rule in Tibet, burning an effigy of Wen and vowing to keep up their protests until the premier leaves India for Pakistan on Friday.

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