China and India Agree to Boost Economic Ties

    19 June, 2014


    From VOA Learning English, this is the Economics Report.

    The Chinese and Indian foreign ministers have discussed ways to ease tensions and increase economic ties. It was the first high level meeting between the Asian powers since a new government took power in India. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj, met for three hours in the Indian capital New Delhi.

    Afterwards, Indian official said both countries agreed much could be done to improve their economic relationship. Gautam Bambawale of India's foreign ministry says China will consider the possibility of expanding economic cooperation between the two countries.

    China and India Agree to Boost Economic Ties
    Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi (L) gestures to his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj before their meeting in New Delhi, June 8, 2014.

    "Foreign Minister Wang Yi also said that the economic development of India is something that is supported by the Chinese government," Bambawale said.

    Indian Officials say more Chinese investment could reduce India's trade deficit with China. That deficit has increased to more than $30 billion. India says it wants more Chinese investment in roads, ports and other systems. India also would like increased investment in manufacturing - areas in which India is behind China.

    Some foreign policy observers in India expect new Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase economic ties with China as he tries to meet his campaign promise to develop India's economy. But the two countries also have a disputed boarder in the Himalayas. The conflict remains unsettled after years of negotiations. India accuses Chinese troops of entering its territory in the past year raising tensions.

    The Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was the first foreign leader to congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi in his election victory. Mr. Modi described China as "always a priority in India's foreign policy."

    Mr. Modi took an aggressive position about China and Pakistan during his campaign. However, he has shown signs that building ties with neighboring countries will be important.

    An Indian Foreign Ministry spokesman said several high level meetings are planned this year, one will include a visit by the Chinese Premier to India.

    And that is the Economics Report from VOA Learning English. I'm Mario Ritter.