On the back of this week’s visit, both Prime Minister Singh and Premier Li are due to visit each others respective rivals. Next week, Singh is headed to Japan, which is engaged in an increasingly edgy dispute with China over a group of islets in the seas between them. Li goes to Pakistan, where he is to sign agreements to develop the Chinese-managed Gwadar port. India has often been nervous about Chinese agreements with its neighbors that are not strictly military but could be leveraged in a conflict.
NEW DELHI — Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, smiling and effusive, was out to smooth ruffled feathers in India this week, promising to ease tensions and increase trade between Asia’s fastest growing economies in his first trip overseas since taking office.
“China will make your dream come true,” Li told a banquet hall filled with Chinese and Indian business executives in the financial capital of Mumbai as he wound up his visit on Tuesday.
China’s overtures, which come amid worries in Beijing that it is being encircled by the United States and its allies, however met with a cool response.
India has been shaken by a recent border spat with China and is cautious about Beijing’s friendship with rival Pakistan, where Li flies on Wednesday. New Delhi is also concerned about a ballooning trade deficit with China and a flood of cheap Chinese-made goods undercutting local manufacturers.