Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded their informal summit in Mahabalipuram, outside Chennai, on Saturday with a “new beginning” for cooperation between the two countries. Modi, who held talks with Xi at Taj Fisherman’s Cove in Kovalam, said the leaders have decided to “manage their differences prudently” and “will not let them become disputes”.
“We had decided to prudently manage differences and not to allow them to become disputes. We had decided that we will be sensitive towards each other’s concerns,” Modi said.
He added that there has been “increased stability” and “fresh momentum” in bilateral ties since the Wuhan summit in China last year. He said “strategic communication” has increased between the two sides.
Xi said he and Modi had a “heart to heart discussion” on bilateral relations and that the summits were producing “visible progress” in India-China ties.
He commended Modi for taking the initiative to hold these kind of summits, saying it was a “good idea”.
“What has happened has proved that we have made the right decision to have this kind of informal summits, and that we can continue with this form of meeting,” Xi told Modi. Read highlights on the Modi-Xi summit
He said the countries now have “deeper strategic communication”, “more effective practical cooperation” and that they now have “closer cooperation on multilateral occasions”.
Modi also accepted an invitation from Xi to travel to China for their third informal summit.
Xi arrived in India on a two-visit Friday. On the first day, the two leaders spent “quality time” as they visited majestic monuments built by the Pallava Dynasty in the seventh century in Mahabalipuram. They attended a cultural performance and Modi held a dinner for the Chinese President.
Speaking to the media, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the leaders’ one-on-one discussions were based on trade and terrorism. They resolved to work together in facing the challenges of radicalisation and terrorism and had “open and cordial” talks. Modi and Xi, helped by two interpreters, touched upon a range of issues.
“Both leaders said they were large countries, and that radicalisation was a matter of concern to both. And that both would work together. The two leaders also discussed issues pertaining to the trade deficit and how to enhance the trade volume, and tried to identify areas of investments,” Gokhale said.
Gokhale said a new mechanism will be established between the countries to discuss trade, investment and services at an elevated level, which will be managed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Vice-Premier of China.
The foreign secretary also said Xi invited Modi for the next summit that will be held in China, adding that the dates of the same will be worked out later.
When asked if the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, regarding the abrogation of Article 370 was discussed by the two leaders, Gokhale denied stating that the issue was not raised and discussed by either. “Our position is anyway very clear that this is an internal matter of India,” he said.
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