Chinese Commerce Minister expresses his govt.’s interest to further strengthen economic ties; Chinese Defence Minister and Adm. Mehta meet in Qingdao, express satisfaction at the status of the relationship
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  • The Chinese Commerce Minister Chen Deming, in a column in The Wall Street Journal expressed his government’s interest to further strengthen economic ties with the United States. Pointing out that economic links have always been an important basis for the China-US relationship, he however noted that they were affected by the current global economic downturn. Bilateral trade for instance dropped by 6.8 percent and US investments in China slumped 19.4 percent. Currently, the volume of the two-way trade in goods between the two countries exceeds $300 billion1.

    The Chinese State Councillor and Defence Minister Liang Guanglie met with Admiral Sureesh Mehta, Chief of the Naval Staff of the Indian Navy in Qingdao on April 22. Both the military leaders discussed issues relating to naval cooperation between the two countries. Adm. Mehta was in Qingdao to participate in the PLAN’s 60th anniversary celebrations. Mr. Liang noted that cooperation between the navies of the two countries, as was witnessed in recent times, was good for the stability of Asia2.

    In other developments, reports noted that two Chinese naval escort taskforce warships ‘Wuhan’ and ‘Haikou’ had finished their escort missions in the South China Sea. These two ships were conducting search and rescue operations since December 2008 and had given cover to over 200 ships of 41 countries3.