[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Friday, 26 October 2007, 18:50 GMT 19:50 UK
Gandhi on goodwill visit to China
Sonia Gandhi
Mrs Gandhi is one of India's most powerful politicians
The leader of India's governing Congress party, Sonia Gandhi, has met the Chinese president and prime minister in Beijing.

Mrs Gandhi said talks with the two men were a milestone in relations between the two countries.

Relations between the two countries have been strained by a long-running border dispute and concern in Delhi over China's close ties with Pakistan.

Nonetheless, bilateral exchanges and trade have increased in recent years.

Mrs Gandhi will also visit Shanghai and the north-western city of Xian during her five-day trip.

"I am amazed and astounded at the progress made by the people of China and its leadership," she said on Friday, according to AFP news agency.

Mrs Gandhi's trip comes nearly 20 years after she accompanied her husband Rajiv - who was prime minister of India at the time - to China on a trip which opened a new era in relations between the two countries.

On Wednesday, the Chinese foreign minister said India should play a bigger role in the United Nations, but stopped short of directly supporting Delhi's bid for a permanent seat on the security council.

Correspondents say that although the two countries talk about warmer relations, they are often locked in competition for global influence or for the raw materials and energy they need to run Asia's two fastest-growing economies.

Congress objects to Gandhi film
20 Jul 06 |  South Asia
Sonia Gandhi runs for re-election
08 May 06 |  South Asia
Life in pictures: Sonia Gandhi
18 May 04 |  In Pictures
Profile: Sonia Gandhi
23 Mar 06 |  South Asia
Why did Sonia change her mind?
18 May 04 |  South Asia

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific