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India and China, the world's two most populous countries, agreed today to create a "strategic partnership" in an effort to end their longstanding border dispute and boost trade and economic cooperation.

The agreement signaled a significant shift in relations between the two Asian giants after decades of mutual distrust and suspicion.

"India and China can together reshape the world order," Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh said after a welcome ceremony for his Chinese counterpart, Premier Wen Jiabao, at India's presidential palace.

Together the two nations account for one-third the world's population.

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