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article imageChina's Xi meets Modi in trip to India

By Sravanth Verma     Sep 19, 2014 in World
Chinese President Xi Jinping began his three-day visit to India on September 17, as India and China, the two most populous countries in the world, look to boost economic ties and investment opportunities, and resolve border problems.
Jinping arrived in Ahmedabad, the capital city of the eastern state of Gujarat, where Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi was Chief Minister before he won the national elections in May this year.
Jinping and Modi had a private dinner at the banks of the Sabarmati river in Gujarat, before moving on to discuss trade ties and sign investment promises. Meanwhile, the two nations' armies are facing off at the border in Ladakh, in the northern part of India, over a border dispute. Facts About India reports that the two large countries share a border of 3,300 kilometers or just over 2,000 miles. Almost half of this border is under dispute, with each country claiming land on both sides of the border. The countries have fought one war in the 1960s over border and land issues in Kashmir, a key tourism destination.
However, economics will probably be on the forefront during Jinping's visit. Modi will be looking to attract Chinese investment and expertise as he seeks to speed up India's modernization and shore up its infrastructure. Key deals are expected in terms of technology aid and investment in the transportation, industrialization and heritage conversation areas.
“It’s a very significant visit as leaders of Asia’s two Bric countries want to create more economic momentum in the bilateral relationship,” said Rajiv Biswas, IHS Global Insight’s Asia-Pacific chief economist. “Modi is trying to improve India’s exports to China to reduce the trade deficit, and also to boost Chinese investment flows into the country in infrastructure and urban development,” he added. Bilateral trade between the two countries stands at a meager $65 billion currently, primarily in favor of China.
The BRICS group of nations comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa are set to grow above the global average in 2014. Modi in on a foreign relations roll over the last 100 days since he took office. He returned from Japan in early September, having met Shinzo Abe and signing various treaties and pacts, and taking subtle digs at China's expansionist tendencies. After Jinping's vist, he will be off to the US to meet Obama.
Jinping has likewise just concluded a visit to Sri Lanka and Maldives, in India's backyard, as the two countries attempt to counter each others influence in Asia.
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