India, Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Tajikistan which Xi visited are emerging countries struggling for prosperity, a commentary by state-run Xinhua news agency said.

 

China is India's largest trading partner, while India is China's biggest in South Asia, with two-way trade totalling about USD 65.5 billion last year. During his visit, Xi said China and India should be "express trains" driving regional economic integration and connectivity, it said.

 

Specifically, Xi pledged that China will try to increase its investment in Indian industrial and infrastructure projects to USD 20 billion in the next five years and import more pharmaceuticals and agricultural products in a bid to balance bilateral trade.

 

China, Xi said, is ready to work together with New Delhi to make even greater contribution to regional development, "so that the three billion people living on both sides of the Himalayas will enjoy peace, friendship, stability and prosperity".

 

Xi's visit to Tajikistan, the Maldives and Sri Lanka highlighted Xi's plans to build "one belt one road" involving revival of ancient Silk Road and Maritime Silk Road for which he invited India to join.

 

Xi's trip to these countries, included more than 70 events, showed the country's effort to promote building an "amicable, tranquil and prosperous neighbourhood" with adherence to the principles of "amity, sincerity, mutual benefit and inclusiveness," it said.

 

Xi's current trip was aimed at bringing together the aspirations of Tajikistan, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and India with the "One Belt and One Road" initiatives to pursue common prosperity with neighbours, it said.

 

The "One Belt and One Road" refers to the "Silk Road Economic Belt" and "21st Century Maritime Silk Road," infrastructure and trade networks put forward by Xi during his visit to Central Asia and Southeast Asia in 2013.

 

During the trip, China signed more than 60 cooperative documents with the four countries, which have also pledged active participation in constructing the "belt" and the "road," it said.

 

In the Maldives, its President Abdulla Yameen reiterated support for China's proposal of constructing the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, adding that the island country is prepared to actively participate in relevant cooperation.

 

In the Maldives, Xi promised that the Chinese government will favourably consider helping finance the Male-Hulhule bridge project, continue its assistance for the country and encourage Chinese companies to invest in the country.

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