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Road from Kolkata to China's Kunming discussed

By : http://economictimes.indiatimes.com | Published: 2012-November-28

BEIJING: India and China have concluded talks on the proposed land corridor that would pass through Myanmar and connect Kolkata with southwestern China's Kunming city in Yunnan province. Negotiations on the issue had resumed after three years.

Foreign ministry officials from the two countries participated in the talks along with officials from West Bengal and Yunnan last week in Kunming . An action plan approved after the negotiations pledged "to strive for an effective land corridor between Kunming and Kolkata" . Officials said different possibilities for enhancing road and trade connectivity between the Chinese province, India's northeast and Bengal were discussed.

"The Chinese are serious about this road. We also feel it is important because it will also connect India to southeast Asia beyond Kunming," said Kolkata-based Centre for Studies in International Relations and Development director Binoda Kumar Mishra, who attended the meeting.

Kunming has road connectivity with Thailand, Singapore , Malaysia and Vietnam. Moves are afoot to connect China to most of southeast Asia by rail as well. China has also built a road from Kunming to Mandalay in Myanmar. India is looking at a proposal to build a road from Moreh in Manipur to Mandalay skirting Myanmar's Kachin province , and connecting it to the newly-built road from Kunming . The Moreh-Tamu strip, which includes Tamu town on the Myanmar side, is already an active border trading point. "The Chinese would be happy to get access to the Kolkata port. But India must make sure the road connects us to southeast Asia instead of being a mere trade route with China," Mishra said.

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