India, China Ink Pact to Set up Hotline between PMOs of Two Countries

India and China have inked a pact to set up a hotline between prime ministers of the two countries, said media reports.

External Affairs Minister SM Krishna and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi signed the agreement after their first round of talks in Beijing, reports said.

In recent years, India for the first time established a dedicated hotline facility with any country.

The dedicated phone lines, under the pact, will be set up in the Prime Minister’s Office of the two countries, said reports.

With this, prime minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao will be able to hold direct conversations whenever they want.

Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao had decided to set up the hotline last year in the Russian city of Yekateringburg.

Following a meeting with Yang that lasted over an hour, Krishna noted that establishment of hotline facility indicated closeness and Indian and China with each other, said reports.

“This has been one of the highlights of my visit and it is fitting that the two countries were able to do it during the celebrations of 60th year of establishment of diplomatic relations,” he was quoted as saying while talking to reporters.

In response to a question whether the issue of stapled visas was taken up during the meeting, Krishna was quoted as saying: “All issues concerning bilateral ties were discussed.”

The minister said that the discussions between him and Yang were ‘purposeful and indeed satisfying’, said reports.

“We want to have continued, sustained and cordial relations with China. That has been one of the priorities of India’s foreign policy. That purpose has been subserved by my visit to Beijing,” he was quoted as saying.

“We want to have cordial and friendly ties and lift the bilateral relations to a new level of strategic cooperation and partnership.”

He said the trade between India and China will touch USD 60 billion this year and the issue of trade deficit with China is being discussed.

(Based on internet reports)

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