India, China to start ‘maritime dialogue’
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India and China Thursday decided to initiate a "maritime dialogue" and hold the first meeting of the newly-created working mechanism on border management in Beijing next week, ahead of President Hu Jintao's visit to New Delhi for the BRICS summit later this month.
At a meeting between Foreign Minister S M Krishna and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi Thursday, the two sides also agreed to set up an Indo-China media forum, with Beijing allowing Zee TV to broadcast in China.
The launch of the maritime dialogue, a significant move in view of the growing profile of as well as the rivalry between Indian and Chinese navies in the Indian Ocean.
"It was a suggestion from the Chinese side. Both countries are maritime nations with long coastlines," Gautam Bambawale, joint secretary in-charge of China, said.
Krishna also raised the issue of imbalance in bilateral trade, which has exceeded $60 billion with a huge surplus in Beijing's favour, and urged China to allow Indian IT and pharma companies access to the Chinese market.
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