Bilateral Current Affairs
May 2nd Week 2015 Current Affairs
Category : Bilateral Current Affairs
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1) Conference on India-Vietnam relations

The round table conference on India-Vietnam Relations was held on 11th May. The trade volume between the countries increased from US $ 71.9 million to US $ 5.6 billion during the period 1995-2005, i.e., an annual average growth of 27.6 per cent.
  • India also has 92 ongoing projects with a registered investment of US $ 1 billion and has announced a US $ 300 million credit line to diversify the supply and garment materials from India. The conference was organized to commemorate the 125th birth anniversary of Ho Chi Minh.
2) Modi holds Summit level talks with Xi Jinping in Xi`an
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on 14th May held talks at Xian in China. The talks lasted for about 90 minutes during which the two leaders discussed wide ranging issues including peace and tranquility on the border, trade imbalance and investment climate.
  • According to foreign Secretary, S Jaishankar strengthening trust, increasing convergence, connectivity and strengthening counter terrorism cooperation between the two countries were the other issues that were discussed. On international front, UN Security Council reforms and India’s membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group also came up for discussion.
  • Later, President Jinping accompanied Prime Minister Modi to Giant Wild Goose Pagoda. Built in the sixth century, the Pagoda has strong Indian links. 
  • Great Chinese traveller Xuanzang, after returning from India with Buddhist scriptures, came back here and translated them into Chinese language. 
  • Buddha figurines brought by him were also kept here. This is a holy place for Buddhists and a masterpiece of Buddhist architecture. Both the leaders stayed together for about 45 minutes at the Pagoda. 
  • The Prime Minister presented to the Chinese President replicas of a stone casket of Buddhist relics and a stone statue of Buddha that were excavated from a 3rd -4th century stupa at Dev Ni Mori near Vadnagar in Gujarat.
Prime Minister also presented archaeological drawings of excavations at Vadnagar which was one of the places visited by Xuanzang. The site is referred to as Anandpur in Xuanzang’s writings and recent excavations point to the existence of a thriving Buddhist centre at Vadnagar way back in 2nd century AD. Recent excavations at Vadnagar have revealed a burnt brick structure that has been identified as a Buddhist monastery on the basis of its peculiar plan and the antiquities recovered.

3) India-Bangladesh power secretary-level meeting held

The 9th meeting of the India-Bangladesh Joint Steering Committee on power sector was held in Dhaka today to review bilateral co-operation in the power sector. The Indian delegation was led by Power Secretary P.K. Sinha while the Bangladesh side was headed by his counterpart Monowar Islam. The meeting discussed the proposed export of 500 MW power from the Baharampur-Bheramara India-Bangladesh Power Transmission Link, and another 100 MW from Palatan power plant in Tripura.
  • The installation of a high capacity multi-terminal HVDC bipole transmission line for power transmission between north and north-eastern India and Bangladesh was also discussed. 
  • The meeting also reviewed the progress of the 1320 MW Moitree Super-thermal power plant being implemented by the India-Bangladesh Friendship Power Company.
4) India, China sign 24 pacts
India and China signed a record 24 agreements in key areas on 15th May, including in the rail and education sectors, on day two of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s first visit to the communist neighbour. Protocol for setting up Consulates-General at Chengdu and Chennai, in addition to an MoU on a consultative mechanism for cooperation in trade negotiations, were among the 24 agreements signed in the presence of Modi and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang here.
  • An action plan between the Indian Railways and China National Railways on enhancing cooperation in the railway sector was also signed. Agreements are…
  • Protocols between India and China on the establishment of consulates-general at Chengdu and Chennai and the extension of the consular district of the consulate general of India in Guanzhou to include Jiangxi province.
  • MoU between the ministry of skill development and entrepreneurship of India and the ministry of human resources and social security of China on cooperation in the field of vocational education and skill development.
  •     Action plan on cooperation in setting up of the Mahatma Gandhi National Institute for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship in Ahmedabad/Gandhinagar in Gujarat.
  • MoU between India and China on consultative mechanism for cooperation in trade negotiations.
  • MoU on cooperation between the ministry of external affairs of India and international department of the central committee of the Communist Party of China.
  • Action plan between the National Railway Administration of China and the ministry of railways of India on enhancing cooperation in the railway sector. (2015-16).
  • MoU on education exchange programme.
  • MoU between the ministry of mines of India and the ministry of land and resources of China on the cooperation in the mining and minerals sector.
  • Space Cooperation Outline (2015-2020).
  • Protocol on health and safety regulations on importing Indian rapeseed meal between the export inspection council, ministry of commerce and industry of India and the general administration of quality supervision, inspection and quarantine.
  • MoU between Doordarshan and China Central Television on cooperation in the field of broadcasting.
  • Agreement between the ministry of tourism of India and the national tourism administration of China on cooperation in the field of tourism.
  • MoU on establishing India-China think-tanks forum.
  • MoU between India`s Niti Aayog and the Development Research Centre, State Council of China.
  • MoU between India`s ministry of earth sciences and the China Earthquake Administration concerning cooperation in the field of earthquake science and earthquake engineering.
  • MoU between India`s ministry of earth sciences and the State Oceanic Administration of China on cooperation in the field of ocean science, ocean technology, climate change, polar science and cryosphere.
  • MoU on scientific cooperation between Geological Survey of India, ministry of mines of India and the China Geological Survey, ministry of land and resources of China in geoscience.
  • MoU between the ministry of external affairs of India and ministry of foreign affairs of China on establishment of states/provincial leaders` forum.
  • Agreement on the establishment of sister-state/province relations between state government of Karnataka and provincial government of Sichuan of China.
  • Agreement on establishment of sister-city relations between Chennai and Chongqing of China.
  • Agreement on establishment of sister-city relations between Hyderabad and Qingdao of China.
  • Agreement on establishment of sister-city relations between Aurangabad and Dunhuang of China.
  • MoU between the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Fudan University on the establishment of a centre for Gandhian and Indian studies.
  • MoU between Indian Council for Cultural Relations and Yunnan Minzu University on the establishment of a yoga college  
  • Chinese and Indian companies’ agreements
  • Chinese companies have committed an investment of 22 billion US Dollars in India. 21 agreements in this regard were signed between Indian and Chinese partners in Shanghai on 16th May
  • Axis Energy Ventures India signed a tripartite MoU in the renewable energy sector with Chinese companies Mingyang Wind Power and Global Wind Power.
  • Essel Solar signed a pact with China`s JA Solar to set up a solar cell and module manufacturing facility.
  • Wipro BPS`s pact with Dalian Municipal People`s Government and Yida China Holding was for an offshore delivery centre in Dalian.
  • Bharti Airtel signed agreements with China Development Bank for financing for the purchase of equipment from ZTE and Huawei, and that under licence approved by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India.
  • The Indian telecom operator also signed a credit facility deal with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China.
  • Adani Group signed an agreement to establish an integrated PV industrial park in Mundra SEZ with China`s Golden Concord Holdings.
  • Adani Power signed with China Development Bank a pact on financing of APL Mundra Power Plant Phase I, II and III.
  • Adani Ports and SEZ signed a pact with Guangzhou Port Authority for establishment of a sister port relationship between Mundra Port and Guangzhou Port.
  • Jindal Steel and Power signed an agreement with the Industrial & Commercial Bank of China for development of potential projects.
  • Sun Group signed an MoU with Canadian Solar Power China to generage 5,000 MW of solar power in the next five years as well as manufacturing of solar modules.
  • GMR Group signed with Guizhou International Investment Corporation an MoU on an industrial park in Kakinanda SEZ for high-end Chine equipment manufacturers.
  • Infosys Technologies (China) signed an agreement with People`s Government of Qiannan Autonomous Prefecture to jointly build `China-India Information Service Corridor` in Qiannan Autonomous Prefecture.
  • IL&FS or Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services signed an MoU with Industrial & Commercial Bank of China.
  • IL&FS also signed a deal with China Huaneng Group.
  • Welspun Group signed a deal with China National Technical Import and Export Corporation (CNTIC) for an integrated steel project in Gujarat.
  • Welspun Energy signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with China`s Trina Solar to jointly set up a photovoltaic industry park for production of 500 MW of photovoltaic cell and 500 MW of photovoltaic solar module in India.
  • Autolite India signed a deal with Jinway Import & Export for manufacturing of high-tech capital goods in India.
  • Bhushan Power and Steel signed a deal with CNTIC for a hot-rolled steel coil project.
  • Eros Group signed an MoU with Shanghai Film Corporation for mutual development and exploration in opportunities in Indian and Chinese film markets.
  • Eros Group also signed a pact with China Film Group for co-production of film Xuan Zang.
  • NIIT China signed an MoU with Gui`an New Administrative Committee, Guizhou province for cooperation in the IT sector.
  • The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) signed a pact with People`s Government of Guizhou for promoting Indian companies participating in IT projects.
  • The industry chamber also signed a pact with Zhisland & Xifu for connecting Indian and Chinese private sector companies.
  • Aarvee Associates Architects Engineers & Consultants signed a partnership agreement with China Railway SIYUAN Survey & Design Group.
India, China to set up hotline between Army HQs
The omnibus communique, which emerged after talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his counterpart Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People on 15th May said a hotline between the two Army Headquarters would be established and additional points along the frontiers would be opened to enable local border commanders to hold crisis-management meetings.
Annual exchange visits between the two military headquarters and neighbouring military commands would continue. Indian officials clarified that China’s differences with neighbours in the South China Sea were not discussed — a position that is bound to draw the attention in some countries of the ASEAN bloc and Japan.
The joint statement made it amply clear that outer space and nuclear energy are emerging as new areas for collaboration in the future. The two sides would engage in peaceful use of nuclear energy — a decision that led to a conversation on China’s stance towards India within the ambit of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) during the talks.


5) ICICI bank in China

ICICI Bank, the country’s largest private sector bank, has sharpened its global ambitions by now entering China. On 16th May, Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated its first branch in China.
ICICI Bank had first opened its representative office in Shanghai in 2003 and in March this year it got the regulatory approval to expand it into a branch. This branch will engage in banking activities permitted under the guidelines of the China Banking Regulatory Commission.
  • The lender will facilitate international trade between China and other countries, support Chinese corporates and EPC (engineering, production and construction) contractors bidding for infrastructure projects and funding requirements in India. It will also cater to the needs of business expansion projects of Indian joint ventures and subsidiaries of Indian entities in China. Apart from this, it will also handle remittances from China to India.
  • The bank’s global footprint includes a subsidiary in United Kingdom and Canada. Apart from this, the bank has international branches in United States, China, Singapore, Bahrain, Hong Kong, Sri Lanka, Qatar and Dubai International Finance Centre. It also has representative offices in United Arab Emirates, Bangladesh, Malaysia and Indonesia.
  • Several other lenders such as State Bank of India, UCO Bank, Allahabad Bank among others also have a presence in China.
6) Cabinet approves Bill on Land Boundary Agreement
The Union Cabinet on 5th May cleared the Bill to operationalize the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh. It now includes territories in Assam along with those in West Bengal, Tripura and Meghalaya. The government has already talked to various parties in the Upper House, where an earlier bill in this regard is pending since December 2013.
  • Government had earlier proposed to bring the bill in the Lok Sabha, but faced stiff resistance from the opposition that wanted territories in Assam be included in it. Government will have to bring the Constitutional Amendment Bill for ratification of the Land Boundary Agreement with Bangladesh. It would require ratification by at least 50 per cent of the state legislatures before it comes into effect.