PM Modi’s message to China, Pak: Respect territorial integrity, unite against terror

Modi’s statements came hours after he met Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Beijing Palace hotel here, where the Chinese leader and his delegation was staying.

Written by Shubhajit Roy | Astana | Updated: June 9, 2017 9:30 pm
narendra modi, xi jinping, sco summit Modi’s statements came hours after he met Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Beijing Palace hotel here, where the Chinese leader and his delegation was staying.(PTI Photo)

With Chinese President Xi Jinping listening in, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Friday that connectivity projects in the region should respect “territorial integrity and sovereignty”, and it is essential to maintain “inclusivity and sustainability”.

“Connectivity with SCO countries is India’s priority, and we totally support it. We want connectivity to enhance the cooperation between our young generation and societies. For this, success and approval of the connectivity initiatives and proposals, sovereignty and territorial integrity should be respected, and inclusivity and sustainability is essential,” said Modi, as UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres looked on.

With Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his foreign affairs advisor Sartaj Aziz listening to his speech, Modi said: “Terrorism is one of the biggest violators of human rights and values. So, coordination between SCO countries is an important part of the fight against terrorism and extremism. I have full faith that India’s cooperation with SCO will give a new direction and energy in the fight against terrorism.” He also emphasised the need for coordinated efforts to fight terrorism, including radicalisation, recruitment, training and financing of terrorists.

With Modi’s speech, delivered in Hindi at the Palace of Independence where the Shanghai Cooperation Summit is being held, India sent a strong message to both countries on the hot-button issues confronting the relationships with the two neighbours.

While India’s statement on connectivity targeted the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor being a part of the One-Belt One Road, the comments on terrorism were aimed at Pakistan-sponsored cross-border terrorism.

Modi’s statements came hours after he met Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Beijing Palace hotel here, where the Chinese leader and his delegation was staying.

Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said the 40-minute meeting was “very positive and cordial”. This was a markedly different posturing from their last meeting in Goa, where the two leaders had met on the margins of the BRICS summit — when all the hot-button issues were raised, ranging from NSG to Masood Azhar.

“There was also an understanding that where we have differences, differences should not become disputes. In fact, if handled well, (it) can even become opportunity,” he said, indicating India’s softening stand and efforts to bring down the temperature in its relationship with China.

Such was the optics, that Xi even brought a lighter note in the discussion where he praised the Aamir Khan-starrer Dangal as being popular in China — he said he had watched the film and emphasised on cultural cooperation.

Indicating that the two leaders talked about closing ranks, in the face of an unpredictable US administration under President Donald Trump, Jaishankar said, “The broad thrust was that at a time of global uncertainty, India-China relations are a factor of stability. As the world becomes more multipolar, it is important for India and China to work together closely.”

He said a number of issues came up for discussion, including economic cooperation, investment, connectivity, establishment of industrial parks, cooperation in railways, security and defence exchanges, counter-terrorism. They also talked about the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, and parliamentary and youth exchanges between the two sides.

However, the Chinese foreign ministry in Beijing said Xi told Modi that “China and India, as two major countries, should focus more on cooperation, and work alongside to provide assistance with each other’s development goals.” Xi also called for both sides to “properly address sensitive and major issues,” the Chinese foreign ministry said.

Meanwhile, addressing the SCO summit, Sharif said: “The SCO goals resonate with Pakistan’s national ethos, and so do the core values of the Shanghai spirit and the SCO charter with our own quest for a peaceful neighbourhood.”

Welcoming Xi’s proposal on a five-year treaty for ‘good neighbourliness’ among SCO members, Sharif said, “As leaders, we should leave a legacy of peace and amity for our future generations, not a toxic harvest of conflict and animosity. Instead of talking about counter-weights and containment, let us create shared spaces for all.”

While Pakistan’s media reported another round of handshake between Modi and Sharif, even circulating a purported photograph, there was no official confirmation from the Indian side. They met on Thursday evening and exchanged pleasantries before a concert for the visiting leaders. Modi asked Sharif about his health and about his mother and family, whom he he had met in Lahore more than 17 months ago.

The summit concluded with India and Pakistan’s admission as members of the SCO.

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  1. L
    Jun 10, 2017 at 4:58 am
    Yes fight against terror. The terror of Col. Gogoin tying and Indian citizen to a jeep for five hours. The terror of Dari, cow vigilantism, the attack on JNU and HCU, the terror of romeo squads and the kil of farmers in Madhya Pradesh. And the terror of Tarun Vijay who has asked for the independence of South India rom white North India. Modiji and jumlas. He just loves to hug Nawaz. That is the fact. Suddenly no mention of Jadhav. What has happened to all the chaddis anger now?
    1. T
      Tallat mahmood
      Jun 10, 2017 at 2:51 am
      How to respect? In the shape of jadhev kalbhushun!!!!!
      1. A
        Jun 10, 2017 at 2:31 am
        Jumla man will keep on giving jumlas.. as if s and China are going to respond favorably to this..
        1. Mohammad Dar
          Jun 10, 2017 at 1:34 am
          Sure, he needs to learn himself, to respect others territorial integrity and rights, by getting his dogs of hinduism occupation from the occupied land of Kashmir and Ladakh. He is nothing more than a hindu hypocrite, preaching others of civility, but living by the hind crime of hindrance to truth hinduism illegality by faith, to fool humanity.
          1. B
            Bhayyanak Bhangii
            Jun 10, 2017 at 4:35 am
            All subcontinent Mullaas that is Muslims of India, stan and Bangladesh their forefathers converted to Islam either due to fear, pressure of the invaders or they were opportunists and embraced Islam to gain a higher social or economic status. So, shut the up. If you like your lam so much, migrate to that 3rd world - known as Pukistan, which is way worse than India. Kashmiris should stop thinking of themselves as VIPs. Even your paedo popatt Mo-ham-head cannot make a separate nation of Kashmir, understand you disciple of a medieval, paedophile warlord.
          2. Ehsan Habib
            Jun 10, 2017 at 1:24 am
            Fake gestures don't last long, and with Mr drama king being India's PM, you can't write off anything. Things will remain the way they are. It is India which is engaged in state sponsored terrorism in occupied Kashmir with almost one million troops and still crying.
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