India and China on Saturday issued “strategic guidance” to their respective militaries to strengthen communication in order to build trust and mutual understanding and enhance predictability and effectiveness in the management of border affairs. The two countries also decided to work on a “joint economic project” in Afghanistan.
These are some of the key takeaways from the informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping over two days in Wuhan. The two leaders went for a walk by the East lake and took a boat ride on the lake, before concluding the visit with a luncheon meeting. They also had a private tea-tasting ceremony.
Foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale, while briefing reporters after the Modi-Xi informal summit, said that the two leaders issued “strategic guidance” to their respective militaries.
“The two leaders further directed their militaries to earnestly implement various confidence building measures agreed upon between the two sides, including the principle of mutual and equal security, and strengthen existing institutional arrangements and information sharing mechanisms to prevent incidents in border regions,” a statement by the Ministry of External Affairs said.
The two leaders expressed their support for the work of the Special Representatives on the India China Boundary Question and urged them to intensify their efforts to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement, the statement said.
“The two leaders underscored the importance of maintaining peace and tranquility in all areas of the India-China border region in the larger interest of the overall development of bilateral relations”, the statement said.
Productive discussions over tea. Strong India-China friendship is beneficial for the people of our nations and the entire world. pic.twitter.com/ZBPiVu7a5A
— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) April 28, 2018
Gokhale said that they believe that the simultaneous emergence of India and China as two large economies and major powers with strategic and decisional autonomy, has implications of regional and global significance.
He also said that Xi and Modi shared the view that peaceful, stable and balanced relations between India and China will be a positive factor for stability amidst current global uncertainties. They also agreed that proper management of the bilateral relationship will be conducive for the development and prosperity of the region, and will create the conditions for the Asian Century. To this end, they decided to strengthen the Closer Development Partnership in a mutually beneficial and sustainable manner, in pursuit of national modernization and greater prosperity for their peoples.
Sources said that the two countries will work towards developing a “joint economic project” in Afghanistan.
Gokhale said that the leaders felt that both sides have the “maturity and wisdom” to handle the differences through peaceful discussion within the context of the overall relationship, bearing in mind the importance of respecting each other’s sensitivities, concerns and aspirations.
They also agreed to push forward bilateral trade and investment in a balanced and sustainable manner by taking advantage of complementarities between their two economies.
They also discussed ways to promote greater cultural and people-to-people exchanges and agreed to explore establishing new mechanisms in this direction.
Foreign secretary also said that they agreed on their need to strengthen strategic communication through greater consultation on all matters of common interest. They believe that such strategic communication will have a positive influence on enhancing mutual understanding and will contribute to regional and global stability, he said.
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The two leaders agreed that India and China have separately made major contributions to global peace and prosperity through their respective growth and economic development, and would continue to act as engines for global growth in the future.
“They reiterated the importance of building an open, multipolar, pluralist and participatory global economic order which will enable all countries to pursue their development and contribute to the elimination of poverty and inequality in all regions of the world,” he said.
They spoke of their respective efforts to contribute to the regional and global economic development, a statement said.
Xi and Modi also recognized the common threat posed by terrorism, and reiterated their strong condemnation of and resolute opposition to terrorism in all its forms and manifestations. They committed themselves to cooperate on counter-terrorism, a statement said.
Officials said that two leaders highly assessed the opportunity for direct, free and candid exchange of views offered by the Informal Summit and agreed on the utility of holding more such dialogues in the future.
“The forward-looking dialogue raised the level of strategic communication about the perspective, priorities and vision that guide their respective policy choices domestically, regionally and globally. It also helped them in forging a common understanding of the future direction of India-China relations built upon mutual respect for each other’s developmental aspirations and prudent management of differences with mutual sensitivity,” the statement said.