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China and India sign border cooperation agreement

China and India have signed an agreement on border defence cooperation. It is hoped the deal will prevent any repeat of this year's tense military standoff at their disputed Himalayan border.

The deal was signed following a meeting in Beijing between Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and visiting Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The two sides agreed to boost communication about border maneuvers, hold periodic meetings at designated crossing points, and have patrols refrain from any provocations.

"I am sure it will help to maintain peace, tranquility and stability in our border areas," Li said of the accord, adding that the meeting had injected "new vitality" into China-India relations.

He said the two sides had also agreed to hold joint counterterrorism training in southwest China at an early date, strengthen cooperation in international and regional affairs, and work together to tackle terorism.

The border between China and India has never been properly demarcated and the two sides even fought a brief but bloody war over it in 1962. More than a dozen rounds of talks have failed to resolve the issue.

In April, a three-week standoff was triggered when India accused Chinese troops of entering nearly 20 kilometers (12 miles) into Indian-held territory.

The meeting between the two leaders also covered trade ties. China is India's biggest trading partner, with bilateral commerce totalling 49.32 million euros ($67.83 million) in the last fiscal year.

tj/rc (AP, AFP)

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