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India, China need ground rules to resolve border dispute : Chinese envoy

New Delhi, May 11 Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to China this week, Chinese Ambassador to India Le Yucheng called for the two countries to establish ground rules for resolving the border dispute as well as calling on India to ease rules for investment from China.

Describing the upcoming Modi visit as “highlight” of India-China relations this year, Le, in an interview to CNN-IBN news channel, said: “Both sides must set up ground rules to resolve the border dispute.”

He said while a sustainable framework of guidelines was being developed, there was a lot more ground work required.

“We remain committed to what we called the 3-step road map. The first step is formulate political perimeters and guiding principles which we finished and now we are standing at the second step to formulate a framework which is very difficult… it takes quite a lot of time,” he said. He didn’t spell out the third component.

The ambassador also sought Indian government’s active response to cutting red tape for the ease of investment flow in India.

Trade deals worth $10 billion could be a potential outcome of the bilaterals between the two countries during the high-level visit, he added.

Le said the two sides could expect MoUs in the fields of trade, economy, railways, cyberspace, marine and science, media, vocational training among others.

On the trade imbalance between India and China, the envoy noted that greater Chinese investment in the Indian economy was key to striking equilibrium in bilateral trade.

“Investment is very effective to promote balanced trade. To encourage Chinese investors to come to India, the key point for the Indian side is to ease the visa regime, to streamline the procedure, eliminate all these unnecessary paperwork and to provide red carpet instead of red tape,” he said.

India and China, Le said, should also work in cooperation to address the challenge of pollution that equally affects the capital cities of the two countries.

Climate change, he added, would be another case in point for the leaders on both sides, who would address the challenge of synchronizing the countries’ need for development with the environment.

“We (India and China) are developing countries. How to balance the need to develop and the environment? That challenge will also be discussed by our leaders in China,” he said.

On the invitation of Premier Li Keqiang, Modi will embark on his first official visit to China on May 13.

On arrival, the prime minister will be received by Chinese President Xi Jinping in his hometown Xian, reciprocating the Chinese leader’s welcome in Ahmedabad during his state visit to India in September last year.