Tuesday, November 21, 2006

China and India Emphasize Cooperation

China and India declared today that there was room in Asia for the two emerging economic giants to coexist in a cooperative rather than competitive relationship. At the start of a visit that was heavier on symbolism than on substantive new agreements, President Hu Jintao of China and his Indian host, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, unveiled a 10-point plan that aims to double bilateral trade to $40 billion by 2010. They also pledged “cooperation” in the field of civilian nuclear energy -- potentially marking an end to decades of nuclear rivalry and suspicion.

Despite the emphasis on collaboration, there was no sign of a significant breakthrough in any of the key areas of conflict, including border disputes, bilateral relations with Pakistan and the United States and tension over Tibet. Nor was there any progress on the creation of a free trade agreement.