China, India Say They'll Put Aside Differences For Trade

Pledge to double trade between them by 2010.

NEW DELHI (AP) - The leaders of China and India declared Tuesday that cooperation will trump competition between the Asian giants, saying there is enough room for both to become global powers and pledging to double trade between the countries by 2010.

Speaking after a summit in New Delhi, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Chinese President Hu Jintao vowed to cement their increasingly closer ties, which have been marked by lingering suspicions dating back to a 1962 border war and rivalry over their regional roles.

''There is enough space for the two countries to develop together in a mutually supportive manner while remaining sensitive to each others' concerns and aspirations,'' Singh said.

Despite the optimistic tone, the summit failed to break any new ground, resulting only in a range of small agreements and the settling of some minor disputes between the two countries, which with nearly 2.4 billion people account for a third of humanity.

Not dealt with were the big issues that still divide them _ the presence of the Dalia Lama and 120,000 Tibetan exiles in India, the border dispute, and China's role as the main weapons supplier to India's longtime rival, Pakistan.

Still, Indian officials expressed optimism that those issues would be settled in time and pointed out that both sides had decided 18 months ago _ when they declared a strategic partnership _ to not be held back by past disputes while working toward the future.

''It would be a huge strategic gain if we could settle'' the border dispute, Indian Foreign Secretary Shiv Shanker Menon told reporters after the summit.

''But it's not holding up the relationship,'' he added.

Both leaders said the two countries should work together on regional and international issues, but were quick to stress other nations should not see such cooperation as a threat.

''Our two countries need to carry forward our friendship in the long run, work hand in hand for cooperation and common development and work together to promote peace and development in Asia and the world at large,'' Hu said.

Plans were unveiled to double bilateral trade to $40 billion by 2010. Two decades ago, it was next to nothing.

The two sides also agreed to deepen civilian nuclear cooperation, although with no firm commitments on the mechanics of such an arrangement, the deal appeared to be more of a statement of intent than an actual nuclear pact, such as the one New Delhi has reached with Washington.

Hu's visit was the first by a Chinese president in a decade, and he and Singh said their countries would intensify efforts to resolve the border disputes that remain from the 1962 Sino-Indian war. Talks already have been going on for some 25 years.