New Delhi: India and China tried to boost bilateral relations with an upbeat assessment of its importance in today's world, saying that when the two Asian giants speak in one voice, "the world listens". At a concrete level they agreed Thursday to address contentious issues that have bedevilled bilateral relations and set their eyes on the future by setting an ambitious trade target of $100 billion by 2015.
Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh and his visiting Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao met over one and a half hours at Hyderabad House to forge "strategic consensus" on a range of issues which included global terrorism, nuclear non-proliferation, climate change, the widening trade deficit between both nations and irritants such as the problem of stapled visas for residents of Jammu and Kashmir.
The joint communiqué issued after the talks said both leaders agreed there was "enough space in the world for the development of both India and China and enough areas for both to cooperate".
The launch of a hotline between the prime ministers, which became operational four days ago, was welcomed by both leaders.
"Our relationship has transcended the bilateral dimension and has assumed global and strategic significance," Manmohan Singh said in his welcome remarks at a dinner hosted in honour of the Chinese guest.
"The growing inter-dependence of nations provides both the opportunity and the obligation for India and China to cooperate together to meet the challenges facing the international community," he said. "The fact is that when India and China, representing more than two and half billion people speak in one voice, the world listens."