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Chinese president due in Mumbai
BBC[Wednesday, November 22, 2006 10:30]
Chinese President Hu Jintao is due to travel to India's financial capital, Mumbai (Bombay), to push for increased economic ties.

During talks on Tuesday, Mr Hu and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh pledged to double trade to $40bn (£21bn) a year by 2010.

Mr Hu also said the two sides would continue efforts to resolve their long-running border disputes.

Hr Hu is the first Chinese head of state to visit India in 10 years.

China and India have overcome many hurdles in recent years but differences remain, correspondents say.

The BBC's Steve Schifferes says the two sides have different objectives in formulating trade deals.

China wants to boost its export of manufactured goods to developing countries, he says.

Indian firms, which have a comparative advantage in the outsourcing of business and IT services, want more investment in China.

'Peace and tranquillity'

After talking to Mr Hu, Mr Singh said there was enough space for the two countries to develop together in a "mutually supportive manner".

"We will endeavour to raise the volume of bilateral trade to $40bn by 2010 and encourage two-way investment flows," the Indian prime minister told a joint news conference in Delhi.

That objective was reinforced by Mr Hu, who said the two sides would "sign an agreement on investment, promotion and protection between the two countries".

During their talks, the two leaders decided "to speed up the joint feasibility study on a regional trade arrangement," Mr Hu said.

During their meeting on Tuesday, the two sides also agreed to continue to work together to resolve border issues.

"Pending an eventual solution to the boundary question, the two sides need to continue their efforts to work together to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas," Mr Hu said.

A Tibetan activist is detained outside the talks venue in Delhi
A Tibetan activist is detained outside the talks venue in Delhi
Meanwhile, more than 40 Tibetans have been arrested in various parts of Delhi for protesting against President Hu's visit to India, and claiming alleged Chinese atrocities in Tibet.

Police in Delhi told the BBC that a group of 10 Tibetan protesters were arrested when they were trying to approach Hyderabad House, the venue of the talks.

Members of other Tibetan groups were held when they tried to approach the hotel in which the president was staying.

India now recognises Tibet as part of China, but still hosts more than 100,000 Tibetans, including the Tibetan government-in-exile led by the Dalai Lama.

Old tensions

Rising trade between two of the world's fastest growing economies is encouraging vastly improved ties between India and China, the BBC's Sanjoy Majumder in Delhi says.

Annual bilateral trade which was worth only about $250m as recently as the 1990s has mushroomed in recent years.

But our correspondent says that mutual economic interests are often undermined by politics, given that the two countries have ambitions of being the unrivalled regional superpower.

Delhi is suspicious of China's relationship with its long-time rival Pakistan - which Mr Hu is due to visit after his trip to India.

China, meanwhile, is concerned about Delhi's growing ties with Washington, especially a landmark nuclear agreement which allows India access to civilian nuclear technology.

Both India and China have produced staggering economic growth in recent years, but India continues to lag behind on many fronts, correspondents say.

China has a literacy rate of 95%, compared with India's 68%. Indian exports of manufactured goods in the financial year ending last March were valued at $71bn, compared with $713bn for China.
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