Singh's visit, the first by an Indian premier in five years, comes as the two countries try to strengthen ties and put aside their history of animosity.

'The Asian way'

The prime minister made an appeal to what he called "the Asian way - [to] avoid confrontation ... building trust, confidence and consensus".

India has already agreed to a deal with the US to provide nuclear fuel and technology, but the deal has been on hold - in part because of opposition inside Singh's own administration.

China has also expressed reservations over the deal, citing concerns over the proliferation of nuclear materials.

Singh, who is to meet Hu Jintao, the Chinese president on Tuesday, noted that the two nations had agreed to set a target of $60bn in bilateral trade in 2010, up from nearly $40bn last year.

Singh and Wen Jiabao, the prime minister, signed an agreement on Monday that they said would push an often testy relationship to a new level of co-operation.

The pact involves a renewed effort to solve a Himalayan border dispute over which they fought a brief war in 1962.