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India, China reach agreement on new maritime cooperation: Sources

New Delhi, Thu, 01 Mar 2012 ANI

New Delhi, Mar.1 (ANI): India and China on Thursday agreed to take steps to boost bilateral maritime cooperation between the two countries.


Sources speaking on the sidelines of a meeting between Indian Foreign Minister S.M. Krishna and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jeichi, said that new maritime cooperation would include participation in anti-piracy objectives, besides interaction and cooperation between navy and coast guard officials.


The sources further revealed that China's top priority would be to promote and increase mutual trust, bilateral cooperation and friendship with India.


According to sources, China has also expressed a willingness to offer India assistance in building high-speed bullet trains.


China has the world's longest high-speed rail (HSR) network with about 9,676 km of routes in service as of June 2011, including 3,515 km of rail lines with top speeds of 300 km/h (186 mph).


In 2010, the BBC reported that by 2012, China was expected to have more high-speed railway track than the rest of the world combined.


High-speed rail service in China was introduced on April 18, 2007, and the daily ridership has grown from 237,000 in 2007 and 349,000 in 2008 to 492,000 in 2009 and 796,000 in 2010.


India and China have also agreed to celebrate 2012 as Year of Friendship and Cooperation.


Jeichi reached India on Wednesday to hold talks with the Indian leadership over a host of bilateral and international issues on Thursday.


The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said that besides bilateral and international issues, the two foreign ministers would also be discussing next month's BRICS summit, which will be attended by Chinese President Hu Jintao.


Significantly, Jeichi's visit comes in the backdrop of recent acrimony over Defence Minister A K Antony's visit to Arunachal Pradesh to attend the 25th statehood celebrations.


China had asked India not to complicate the boundary issue after Antony visited the state.


Asked if the issue would figure in Jeichi's talks in India, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Hong Lei said in Beijing that nothing should be done to 'complicate' the border issue.


"... I want to point out that on the China, India boundary question including the disputed eastern section of the boundary, China's position has been consistent and clear. We hope to seek reasonable and acceptable plan through dialogue and negotiations pending final settlement. The two sides should make joint efforts to ensure peace and stability of border area instead of taking actions that complicate the issue," he said. (ANI)


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