| Global Times | 2013-5-21 23:08:01
By Rajiv Theodore in New Delhi and Bai Tiantian in Beijing
Read more in Daily Special: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang starts first foreign visit
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang pledged on Tuesday to open up domestic markets to Indian businesses and narrow the trade deficit after both expressed wishes to resolve the border dispute on Monday.
"As for Indian concerns over the deficit, the Chinese side is willing to provide means for more Indian products to access the Chinese market," Li said, adding that he is confident both nations have the ability to mitigate the trade imbalance.
China is India's largest trading partner, with two-way commerce totaling $66.5 billion last year. But trade is skewed in China's favor with the deficit totaling $29 billion in 2012.
Li said China understood that balanced trade was crucial to good relations between the world's two most populous countries. "China never has the intention to pursue a surplus. Only a dynamic balance leads to sustainable trade relations."
Li's speech was hailed by analysts as a symbol of China taking active steps to gain trust from India. "China has marched forward in the past 15 to 20 years and touched great heights in industrialization…India's share, however, is less significant. India will have to put its house in order," said Anirudh Deshpande, an international relations professor from Delhi University.
Li's speech came after both nations expressed their mutual desire to resolve the border dispute in the Himalayas.
Li also met with the family of Dwarkanath Kotnis, an Indian doctor who died treating Chinese troops during the War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression (1937-45) and is buried in Shijiazhuang, capital of Hebei Province.
AFP contributed to the story.
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