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China, India Set Up Hotline Linking Leaders


China and India have agreed to set up a telephone hotline linking their countries' top leadership, in what is being viewed as a sign of closer ties between the two Asian neighbors.

The dedicated phone line will allow the Chinese and Indian Prime Ministers to hold direct conversations. The agreement was signed Wednesday in Beijing during a four-day visit by Indian Foreign Minister S. M. Krishna.

An Indian foreign ministry official described the agreement as an important confidence building measure.

Krishna's visit comes as India and China mark 60 years of diplomatic relations.

Krishna met with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and discussed several key issues including trade, the countries' shared border and special Chinese visas for residents of Indian-administered Kashmir.

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