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India’s foreign minister to visit China
April 25, 2013, 11:19 am


Li Keqiang will visit India next month – his first foreign trip since becoming prime minister [Xinhua]

External affairs minister Salman Khurshid is set to visit China, ahead of newly elected Chinese premier Li Keqiang’s official trip to India next month.

A lot of significance is being attached to Li’s visit which will be the Chinese premier’s first foreign trip after becoming prime minister last month, underlining the importance that China now accords its neighbour.

“I am going on May 9,” Khurshid told reporters when asked about his proposed visit to China.

Commenting on recent media reports on the border dispute with China, the minister said that these things happen because there is variance of perception between the two countries as there is no demarcation of the Line of Actual Control.

“You agree and you disagree, but you have constant faith that a disagreement is not betrayal. A disagreement is like two intelligent people working out life plans and not necessarily kicking the heels saying one is right and one is wrong,” he said.

His views were echoed by the Chinese foreign ministry today.

“With the boundary not demarcated yet, it is inevitable for problems to crop up in border areas,” foreign ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told reporters at a regular briefing in Beijing on Thursday.

Ms Hua said she hoped the media “can keep patience and create favourable conditions for the two countries to solve this issue”.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had made a pitch for India and China to boost military contact and deepen trust during the recently concluded BRICS Summit in Durban.

China is India’s second-largest trading partner and their combined trade was $50.9 billion in the April-December period, according to Indian government figures.

With inputs from Agencies