In January, Zhu Rongji became the first prime minister in a decade to visit India. Zhu and his Indian counterpart Atal Behari Vajpayee agreed that the two countries would fight terrorism jointly. They also signed pacts on tourism, scientific exchanges and the sharing of data concerning the Brahmaputra River to prevent flooding in India. Direct flights between Beijing and New Delhi are expected to start in March.
During the six-day visit, Zhu gave approval for India’s biggest software firm, Infosys, to open an office in Shanghai. He argued that by combining India’s ascendancy in software and China’s leading position in hardware, the two countries could become “the number one IT superpower”.