This has been an important year for India-China relations. Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh paid an official visit to the People’s Republic of China from 13-15 January 2008. The leaders of India and China resolved to develop the Strategic & Cooperative Partnership for Peace and Prosperity between the two countries. They also reiterated their firm commitment to resolving all outstanding differences through peaceful negotiations, while ensuring that such differences are not allowed to affect the positive development of bilateral relations. The two Prime Ministers signed “A Shared vision for the 21st Century” which reflects the aspirations of the two countries to cooperate with each other on areas of mutual interest on regional and multilateral affairs.
The Foreign Ministers of India and China also exchanged visits in June 2008 and September 2008 respectively. The new Consulates General in Guangzhou and in Kolkata were formally inaugurated during these visits. Bilateral trade in the calendar year 2008 reached US$ 51.8 billion, which is close to the target of US$ 60 billion by 2010 that has been set by the two Prime Ministers. Cooperation and exchanges in the area of defence relations also continued with the holding of the 2nd Joint Military Exercises and the 2nd Annual Defence Dialogue in India in December 2008. The Special Representatives of the two countries met in September 2008 for the 12th round of discussions on the India-China Boundary issue. India provided humanitarian relief assistance worth US$ 5 million to China in the aftermath of the devastating earthquake that struck Sichuan province in May 2008. The two countries have also consulted with each other on important global issues including the international financial crisis and climate change.