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New Delhi: India is looking at allowing China to establish an industrial park in India that will have to be seen in conjunction with the balance of trade, foreign minister Salman Khurshid said on saturday. He was speaking to reporters after his return from a two day visit to china.

Khurshid said representatives of the Chinese commerce ministry can visit India soon “and they can look around and see which areas will be suitable for the industrial park. But that will be seen in conjunction with the attempts we are making to balance our existing trade that is looking up, growing very fast...but our concerns about balance remains. They were agreeable that we have to very specifically address the issue of balance in our trade to make it sustainable".

In 2011, bilateral trade was almost $75 billion but the gap was more than $20 billion in favour of China, causing alarm among industry circles in India. India has been seeking market access of its pharmaceutical and information technology products—areas in which India has an edge.Both sides have set a bilateral trade target of $100 billion by 2015.

Khurshid also told reporters that the two countries are working on a new border defence cooperation agreement. The minister said the two sides had underlined that incidents such as the recent incursion in Daulat Beg Oldi should not happen and agreed that this issue should not come in way of improving ties.

Khurshid said special representatives of India and China will meet in a couple of months to discuss in detail the issues related to boundary. “China has proposed sometime back a proposal for border defence cooperation agreement... We have also given our suggestions," he said.

On the recent incursion by Chinese troops 19km into Indian territory, he said, “We did not do any post-mortem." He expressed satisfaction that the mechanisms in place worked well to resolve the stand off.

In Beijing, an influential official daily said Khurshid’s visit to China, despite opposition from several quarters in India, reflects the stability of bilateral relations and the importance New Delhi attaches to its ties with Beijing. “Since the China-Indian border confrontation, the Indian opposition parties, military, and media have pressured the government to cancel the foreign minister’s plan to visit China," the ruling Communist Party-run Peoples Daily Online said in an article titled “China-India have great wisdom to handle sensitive issues". “However, Khurshid’s visit to China indicates that the development of China-India relations has been quite stable and India attaches great importance to ties with China," the article said.

In its lengthy commentary, the PD Online said, “Sino-India ties have long been complex and sensitive due to some historical issues such as border issue, Tibet and divergence on cross-border water resources." “In recent years, China and India have risen simultaneously as emerging powers. Western media hypes “the competition between the dragon and the elephant", trying to provoke China-India relations. So how to view and deal with the bilateral ties is a major issue facing both sides," it said. “The good news is that over the past half century, China and India have learnt from the lessons of history, made efforts to promote mutual trust on politics and security and effectively controlled differences so as to promote the steady development of bilateral relations."

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