NEW DELHI, (AP) -India and China, the world’s two fastest-growing economies, will work to double trade with each other in the next three years, their leaders said Tuesday after a summit in the Indian capital.
Chinese President Hu Jintao added there was enough room for the emerging powers to develop simultaneously. He was in India for a four-day visit, the first by a Chinese president in a decade.
Despite political irritants, India-China economic ties have grown rapidly in recent years and two-way trade is projected to reach $20 billion this year, up from almost nothing two decades ago.
India Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said the nations would work to raise bilateral trade to $40 billion by 2010.
“As two large Asian states and as two of the fastest-growing emerging economies of the world, cooperation between China and India transcends the bilateral and has global significance,” Singh said.
New Delhi had been expected to seek China’s backing for a civilian nuclear deal with the United States.
Singh said that “cooperation in the field of civilian nuclear energy will be promoted,” but did not elaborate.
The deal seeks to give India access to the heavily regulated international market for nuclear fuel and technologies.
The visit also focused on resolving political differences rooted in a 1962 border war. Hu said those efforts would be intensified.
“We both believe that an early settlement on the boundary question serves the fundamental interest of our two countries,” Hu said.
Relations also have been dogged by the presence in India of the Dalai Lama and 120,000 exiles from Tibet, as well as Beijing’s strategic alliance with India’s neighbor and archrival, Pakistan.
China accuses the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet’s Buddhists, of trying to divide China.
No mention was made of Tibet at the summit and on Tuesday police fanned out across New Delhi to protect Hu and to prevent protesters embarrassing him.
“Police have imposed a ban on assembly of more than five persons in the areas to be visited by the Chinese president,” New Delhi police spokesman Rajan Bhagat said.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Jiang Yu condemned recent protests by Tibetan exiles in New Delhi.
“India said it does not allow any Tibetans to engage in anti-China political activities on its territory. We appreciate this statement made by India and we hope that India can honor its commitment on this issue,” she said.
Four Tibetan protesters were arrested Monday after holding up posters saying “Down with China” and “Freedom for Tibet” as Hu’s convoy left the airport, said Dhondhup Dorjee, a spokesman for Tibetan exiles.
More than 1,000 Tibetans, led by Buddhist monks in maroon and yellow robes, held a protest march in New Delhi hours before Hu arrived. The protesters, their faces painted in the colors of the Tibetan flag, chanted anti-China slogans and demanded freedom for Tibet.
After the meeting the two sides signed a series of 13 agreements on economic, trade, finance, information, energy, science, technology, agriculture and education ties.
They also agreed to have China open a consulate in the east Indian city of Calcutta and India would reciprocate in Guangzhou. 2007 was also declared a year of friendship and tourism between the two countries.
Hu leaves India for Pakistan on Thursday after visiting the Indian cities of Agra and Mumbai.