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Indian and Chinese Officials Call for Closer Ties



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 in the Indian capital, New Delhi. After the meeting, Indian officials 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. Indian officials say more Chinese investment could reduce India's trade deficit with China. That deficit is now 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, an area in which India is behind China.

Some foreign policy observers in India expect new Prime Minister Narendra Modi to increase economic ties with China to help meet his campaign promise to develop India's economy. But the two countries also have a disputed border in the Himalayas. India accused Chinese troops of entering its territory in the past year, raising tensions. Also, Tibetan refugees in New Delhi demonstrated as the Chinese and Indian officials met. The Chinese Premier Li Keqiang was the first foreign leader to congratulate Prime Minister Narendra Modi on his election victory. Mr. Modi described China as "always a priority in India's foreign policy."

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