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Chinese President to visit India from Nov 20
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November 07, 2006 16:26 IST

Chinese President Hu Jintao will embark on his maiden visit to India from November 20, during which the unsettled boundary question and trade relations will be the major topics of discussion with the Indian leadership.

Hu will undertake a state visit to India from November 20 to 23 at the invitation of his Indian counterpart A P J Abdul Kalam, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu told a media briefing.

The unsettled boundary question will be one of the major topics for discussion when the Indian leadership holds talks with Hu, also general secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China.

During the visit, the Asian giants are also expected to explore the possibility of signing an agreement on the establishment of a Regional Trade Arrangement.

Trade between the two Asian giants, both among the world's fastest growing economies, has expanded quickly in recent years.

Bilateral trade surged 37.5 percent to reach $18.73 billion in 2005 and is expected to hit $20 billion this year.

As a symbol of their closer trade ties, the two countries reopened cross-border trade at the Himalayan Nathu La Pass last July, 44 years after trade ended in the wake of a short border war between them.

Hu will also visit Pakistan from November 23 to 26 at the invitation of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf [Images].

A Pakistan Foreign Office statement in Islamabad said, 'Hu Jintao's visit will be another landmark in the traditional friendship and strategic partnership between Pakistan and China'.

'Pakistan and China enjoy all-weather and time-tested friendship. This friendship has been passed from generation to generation invigorated by deep affection, mutual trust and complete understanding', it said.

Pakistan Foreign Office Spokesperson Tasnim Aslam on Monday played down reports that the two countries could sign an agreement to set up six nuclear power plants in Pakistan with Chinese assistance during Hu's visit.

"I do not know from where this figure came from. I had no information on that. But co-operation on civilian nuclear technology between China and Pakistan had been longstanding," she said.

Reports in the Chinese and the Pakistan media have said that Beijing [Images] has agreed to set up six nuclear power plants with the capacity of 300 mw each in the country.

During his last visit in 2002, Hu had announced Chinese investment to develop Gwader port in South West Balochistan. Both the countries want it to be developed into strategic hub to route oil supplies to China.

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