China ready to end India border row, says Foreign Minister Wang Yi

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 11 June, 2014, 3:43am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 11 June, 2014, 9:18am

China was ready for a final settlement of its border disputes with India and prepared to invest more in the South Asian nation if trade rules were eased, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in New Delhi.

"Through years of negotiation, we have come to an agreement on the basics of a boundary agreement, and we are prepared to reach a final settlement," he said near the end of a two-day visit that included a meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Wang did not elaborate.

He arrived in India as an envoy of President Xi Jinping , who has accepted Modi's invitation to visit later this year.

Modi, elected prime minister last month, had accepted an invitation from Premier Li Keqiang for an early visit to Beijing, his office said.

India and China are seeking to prevent territorial disagreements from affecting economic ties.

"The Chinese are prepared to renew their ties with the Indians in a much more positive way," said Hoo Tiang Boon, of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. "They understand that foreign relations in East Asia aren't exactly ideal. The last thing they want is their western flank to create problems for them as well."

China is India's largest trading partner.

Wang said Chinese firms would be prepared to invest in Indian infrastructure, including high-speed trains and manufacturing, with more attractive regulations, and the two sides agreed to relax visa rules.

"China-India cooperation is like a massive buried treasure waiting to be discovered," Wang said. "The potential is massive."

Beijing may be motivated to resolve tensions as relations with Japan and Southeast Asian nations have deteriorated over other territorial disputes.

India accuses China of occupying 38,000 sq km of territory in Jammu and Kashmir, while Beijing lays claim to 90,000 sq km of land in Arunachal Pradesh state.