Balanced, sustained trade sought with India

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China has never deliberately sought a trade surplus with India, and the nation is committed to helping India expand its shipments to the world's second-largest economy in a bid to make their bilateral trade more sustainable and balanced, Chinese government officials said on Thursday.

"Since the (2008) financial crisis, China has led three trade and investment delegations to India, with purchasing contracts worth $1.65 billion and engineering contracts reaching $3.5 billion," said Jiang Yaoping, vice-minister of commerce.

"China is planning to organize another such delegation to India this year."

Song Tao, vice-minister of foreign affairs, agreed, saying that China is "willing to join hands with India on tapping the potential of promoting sales of Indian goods in China".

The government officials made the remarks during a news briefing on Premier Li Keqiang's upcoming official visit abroad, the first since he took the post in March.

Li will kick off his overseas trip on Sunday, visiting India, Pakistan, Switzerland and Germany during a tour that ends on May 27, according to Foreign Ministry.

Jiang and Song said the visits reinforce the importance that China attaches to relations with neighboring Asian nations and with Europe, which is still struggling with debt problems.

They also said that the nine-day trip will see China and the four countries reach agreements in many sectors, including trade, investment, finance, infrastructure, manufacturing, urbanization, culture and climate change.

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