Strengthening bilateral ties with China

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Aug. 8 – India’s ruling Congress and the Communist Party of China (CPC) signed a pact on Thursday to put in place a mechanism that would help regular high-level exchanges between them. Signed by Chinese vice-president and standing committee member of the CPC’s politburo, Xi Jinping, and Congress general secretary Rahul Gandhi, the memorandum of understanding also provides the two parties the opportunity to consult each other on important bilateral, regional and international developments.

Before signing the MoU, Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi held a 30 minute meeting with Mr. Xi and other senior leaders of the Communist Party of China where they discussed issues of mutual interest. Mr Xi, one of the most prominent leaders of China, is widely believed to be a strong contender for the President’s post after Mr Hu retires in 2012.

The MoU is expected to herald a new era of serious political exchanges between the CPC and a non-Communist party in India, which shares power in New Delhi. It is expected to enrich the scope of India-China relations, which is dominated by trade and government-level exchanges. Close political linkages are expected to play a role influencing the Chinese mind about India's nuclear case when the matter comes up shortly before the Nuclear Suppliers Group, where Beijing is an influential member, the Times of India reported.