‘Chinese PM Seeks Indian Tech Cooperation’
(AP | April 11, 2005)

China and India should work together to dominate the world's tech industry, bringing together Chinese hardware with Indian software, China's prime minister said Sunday.

On a visit to India's southern technology hub of Bangalore, Premier Wen Jiabao said the two nations should put aside their historic rivalries for the venture and welcome a new "Asian century."

"Cooperation is just like two pagodas (temples), one hardware and one software," Wen said. "Combined, we can take the leadership position in the world," he said.

"When the particular day comes, it will signify the coming of the Asian century of the IT industry," he said in an address to information technology professionals in Bangalore.

India has gained global repute as a hub of software professionals while China is strong on computer hardware. Both countries' cheap and plentiful labor has undercut the tech industry in America and other Western countries through outsourcing.

Wen appealed to Indian software companies to set up operations in China to tap the Chinese and global markets.

He later met scientists and visited the research facilities at the headquarters of the Indian Space Research Organization in Bangalore.

Last year, China became the first Asian power to launch a man into orbit. India has announced ambitions to send an unmanned craft to the moon.

The two countries have been improving ties despite decades of frosty relations and rivalry. China is also a longtime ally and the main supplier of military hardware to Pakistan - India's archrival.

"I hope and believe that my visit will inject fresh vigor and vitality into relations," Wen said in a statement distributed to reporters after his arrival.

During talks with Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Monday, the two countries are expected to sign nearly 30 agreements to promote political, economic and cultural ties.

China is keen to develop a free trade area with a combined population total 2 billion, which would make it the largest free trade area in the world.

India-China trade reached $13.6 billion in 2004, with India recording a trade surplus of $1.75 billion, Indian Commerce Ministry statistics show.

On other issues, Wen and Singh are expected to discuss the more than 50-year-old border dispute over their 650-mile frontier, parts of which are not demarcated. A solution is expected to be reached during Wen's four-day visit.

Wen is also expected to discuss with Indian authorities the Tibetan spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who lives in exile in India, Chinese officials have said.

Police attempted to prevent Tibetan activists, who oppose Beijing's rule in the Himalayan territory, from demonstrating against Wen's visit.

While he was inside the building, a Tibetan youth climbed up a tower and remained perched above Wen's car, throwing flyers and waving the Tibetan flag. He shouted "Free Tibet! Wen Jiabao, you cannot suppress the truth!" Five officers climbed up and arrested him.

On Saturday, police detained two Tibetan leaders to prevent them from organizing demonstrations and prevented 50 Tibetan students from leaving their college hostels to protest, a police officer said.

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