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China, India look to energy cooperation

India would like to cooperate further with China in the energy sector as the two Asian neighbors seek to overcome past issues with trust and increase trade ties, a senior Indian diplomat has remarked, ahead of the BRICS April Summit.

S. Jaishankar, India's ambassador to China, has said that new and renewable energy sources are expected to be one area where the two can cooperate to their mutual benefit.

"We hope to discuss it at our first Strategic Economic Dialogue, slated for this year, " Jaishankar said.

When China's Premier Wen Jiabao made a three-day visit to India in December of last year, among the many deals made, was an agreement on starting a Strategic Economic Dialogue to coordinate macro-economic policies.

According to its ambassador, India's 12th Five Year Plan (2012-2016) calls for generating more power through renewable sources such as wind and solar power.

At the same time, China's 12th Five Year Plan (2011-2015), which runs until 2016, focuses on a greener approach to economic growth.

In responding to the comment that China and India have found themselves at odds with each other over a range of issues in the past, Jaishankar said it is not necessary to be "overly fixated on competition".

"I recommend that the two look at the results of their cooperation to get a more balanced picture. The last 10 years have been particularly impressive," he commented. He also noted that Beijing and New Delhi can increase that cooperation "even more", while admitting that thinking big and working on a win-win solution does remain a challenge.

The ambassador pointed out that China is India's largest trade partner even though the trade has gone heavily in China's favor, and the deficit rose from $1 billion in 2001 to $16 billion in 2007. He noted that the group is still evolving, and, especially in light of the upcoming BRICS summit in the Chinese resort city of Sanya, each summit has seen it grow further.

"These are large, influential nations meeting in a dynamic world, and the deliberations will certainly have their consequences.

"This is a forward looking group whose very coming together symbolizes change in the global arrangement. BRICS has a tradition of independent decision-making, and this is a shift towards a more multi-polar, democratic world order," he said.

 (China Daily- April 14, 2011)