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Chinese PM's visit to boost economic ties

Our Political Bureau  |  New Delhi 

When comes to India on April 9 on a four-day visit, he will not come directly to New Delhi, but by way of Bangalore, where he will visit the offices of the Chinese infotech company, Huawei Technology, and Infosys, and the
In many ways, his itinerary represents the focus of his visit, which will have strong economic and strategic diplomacy overtones.
explained that over a dozen agreements were likely to be signed during the visit. These include political announcements, pacts for enhancing economic cooperation and a new cultural exchange programme.
He said a was being proposed between the two countries. "If achieved, it will be the largest FTA in the world," Sun said.
But India has limited itself to proposing a regional trading agreement during Wen's visit.
Some political discussion on the proposal that Russia, China and India could form some kind of strategic partnership as an answer to the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO), might take place.
This suggestion, including the proposition that India and China could have a common nuclear policy, was made first by Indian Foreign Minister and was coldshouldered by Beijing.
Wen will hold talks with Prime Minister and other leaders on April 11. Teh Chinese premier would deliver a public speech at Delhi University on April 12 before leaving around noon, Sun said.
At the press conference today, Sun was asked about China's position on a place for India on the UN Security Council and he repeated the ambivalence that was first heard in June last year when Tang Jiaxuan, senior Cabinet minister who oversees China's foreign policy, spelt out Beijing's views on the expansion of the Security Council.
Tang said in June 2004, "The values India's influence and role in international and regional affairs and is willing to see a greater Indian role in the international arena, the UN included."
The Indians interpreted this to mean that China would back India's claim but contended without the influence of Pakistan, China's all-weather friend and ally, which has been lobbying strongly against a place for India in the Security Council.
Su said, "We would like to see India play a bigger role at the UN as well as the Security Council," but on whether China supported India's claim for permanent membership with full veto rights, he said: "People in the UN are now discussing it. There are different ideas. I do not want to make any specific remark on that. I do not want to influence it in any way."
Scholars of a Chinese think-tank, close to the authorities, the China Institute for Contemporary International Relations, have "diverse" views on the subject.
They are reportedly of the view that India should fulfill three conditions before becoming a Security Council member - resolution of all outstanding issues in South Asia, resolving of conflicts with neighbours and contributing to world peace.
However, Su indicated that there could be a political breakthrough on the boundary dispute during Wen's visit. "There could be some political parametres and guiding principles to be settled during this visit," he said but did not elaborate.
Chinese special representative Dai Bingguo will meet his new Indian counterpart and National Security Adviser MK Narayanan for talks on the boundary issue either before Wen's visit or during it, the Chinese envoy said.
He said border demarcation would take more time. "We won't touch any specific point on demarcation," he said.

First Published: Sat, April 02 2005. 00:00 IST