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India and China work to resolve border dispute

May 21, 2013

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh have sworn to end a border dispute that has existed between to the nations for decades, according to Xinhuanet.

The agreement between Li and Singh came out of official talks between the two leaders in the Indian capital of New Delhi. Premier Li will also visit Germany, Switzerland and Pakistan on his first trip abroad since ascending to leadership in China.

"The purpose of my current visit to India is threefold: to increase mutual trust, to intensify cooperation and to face the future," Li told reporters, according to Time. "The development and prosperity of the world cannot happen without the simultaneous development of China and India."

Recent tension
Relations between the two nations have been tense since April 2013, when a few dozen Chinese soldiers marched into a remote Himalayan region that India believed was within its national borders. In response, India sent troops to camp out next to the Chinese units - a standoff that persisted for 21 days until the Chinese forces withdrew, according to Time.

The developing superpowers also butted heads in early 2013, when China announced its intention to build three hydro-electric dams along a 1,800 mile river that flows through both countries. While Chinese officials have maintained that their neighbors to the south in Bangladesh and India would not see their water flow diminished as a result of the project, India has requested that a committee be set up to study the issue.

While no such committee has been created as of yet, the two nations did agree to increased information sharing about the river during Li's visit.

Future Cooperation
" want this visit to show the whole world that the mutual political trust between China and India is rising, practical cooperation is expanding and there are more common interests than differences," said Li, reports Xinhuanet.

Prime Minister Singh expressed similarly warm sentiments during Li's visit, noting that he was honored that Li had chosen India to be the location of his first trip abroad.

With some progress made on border issues, the two nations are now pursuing improved bi-lateral trade relations. According to Time, trade between the two nations was valued at $66 billion in 2012, although that trade is strongly balanced in China's favor. The neighbor nations have vowed to increase their trade by 50 percent over the next two years.

Communication is key for patching up misunderstandings across borders, and for those who can't fly in to meet face to face like Premier Li and Prime Minister Singh, an international calling card can bridge the gap.

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