Krishna to open new Indian embassy complex in BeijingFebruary 6th, 2012 - 8:28 pm ICT by IANS
New Delhi, Feb 6 (IANS) Seeking to scale up India-China ties despite differences over some issues, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna heads to Beijing Tuesday on a three-day visit during which he will inaugurate the $10 million new Indian embassy complex and hold talks with his Chinese counterpart.
Accompanied by senior officials, Krishna leaves for Beijing from Bangalore Tuesday morning.
A key highlight of the visit will be the formal inauguration of the new Indian embassy complex and a colourful cultural programme at the embassy premises.
Spread over 13,500 sq m, the new building complex brings all the offices of the Indian embassy under one roof and is made of sandstone and other materials imported from India. Designed by Indian architect Raj Rewal, the building also houses a cultural complex and a 100-seater auditorium.
Krishna will hold talks with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi Wednesday on a wide gamut of issues, including ways to achieve more balanced bilateral trade and steps to build greater confidence in the relationship that is often seen through the prism of rivalry and competition.
The two ministers are also expected to exchange views on a host of global issues like the festering global financial crisis, climate change, maritime security and counter-terrorism, said informed sources.
Krishna is also expected to call on Chinese President Hu Jintao and extend to him an invitation on behalf of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to visit New Delhi for the fourth BRICS summit of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa March 29.
There is also possibility of a meeting between Krishna and Chinese Communist Party politbureau member Xi Jinpeng, who is expected to succeed Hu later this year.
Krishna’s visit to Beijing comes weeks after special representatives of India and China held boundary talks in New Delhi and sealed a new border mechanism framework to maintain peace on the disputed boundary between the two countries.
A host of contentious issues have tended to cloud bilateral ties in recent months. China has voiced its concern over India’s deal with Vietnam for exploration in the Chinese-claimed South China Sea. India has defended the deal. India scaled down a defence delegation visiting China last month after Beijing refused to give visa to an Indian officer on grounds that he was from Arunachal Pradesh.
Despite festering differences with Beijing on some issues, bilateral trade has exceeded $60 billion, with both sides confident of taking it up to $100 billion.
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