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Chinese premier India visit: Border, water disputes on high agenda

New Delhi, May 20 (): Chinese premier Li Keqiang, after a long gap of twenty –seven years arrived in India on Sunday. Mr. Li, accompanied by a senior-level delegation including government officials and businessmen is on an official visit to India and will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on issues relating to boundary and water.

Mr. Li was received by Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed as well as   Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai. Mr Li recalled his memories of his last trip to the country and said that his visit to Taj Mahal and prestigious Indian universities, research institutes and the kindness of the people had left a lasting impact on him twenty-seven years back. He said that he made the decision to visit India not because India is an important neighbour and a popular country but because of the kindness and friendliness of the people here.

Today, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and the China premier are expected to hold high-level delegation talks on key international, regional and bilateral issues.

When asked about the issues to be discussed between the leaders of the two countries, which have been witnessing differences on a number of crucial issues including boundary, waters and on market access under economic ties, Joint Secretary (East Asia) Gautam Bambawale said, “Everything is on the table.”

The two Prime Ministers will be discussing mainly about the incursion which has been the recent issue, said Bambawale. When Mr. Bambawale was asked whether there was any development made on the Chinese offer on Border Defence Cooperation Agreement, to which India has also proposed a counteract, he said that all the issues regarding the border  dispute are currently being discussed. He refused to disclose further details.

As far as economic front is concerned, India will force for access to the Chinese market, said Mr. Bambawale.