China today welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remarks in Russia that not a single bullet has been fired at Sino-India border in the last 40 years despite the simmering boundary dispute between the two neighbours.
"We have noted positive remarks made by Prime Minister Modi. We welcome that," Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told media briefing here when asked about Modi's comments made during his visit to Russia last week.
Modi said world has increasingly become inter-connected and inter-dependent, a transformation that has made it necessary for India and China to cooperate on trade and investments despite a simmering border dispute.
"It is true that we have a border dispute with China. But in the last 40 years, not a single bullet has been fired because of border dispute," Modi said speaking at a panel discussion at the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Reacting to his remarks, Hua said, "we have been stressing that as two major countries China and India maintaining sound, steady and in-depth growth of the bilateral relationship is of great significance."
"Actually, leaders of the two countries pay great attention to the boundary question. Each time they meet they exchange views on this issue. Both sides have agreed that an early question of boundary question serves the interests of the both sides. It is also a strategic goal both sides are striving to achieve," she said.
Referring to the 19 rounds of boundary talks held by the special representatives of both sides, Hua said both sides have "taken serious measures to maintain peace and tranquillity of the border areas."
"The two sides will stick to the overall relationship of the bilateral relationship and deepen cooperation in relevant field so as to realise common development and bring more benefits of the people of both sides," she said.
"We believe that the sound and steady growth of the bilateral relationship will also bring more benefits to the whole region and the world at large," she added.
Modi's remarks as well as China's reaction comes in the backdrop of growing discord between the two countries over a host of issues including the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Beijing blocking India's membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group as well as the listing of JeM leader Masood Azhar a terrorist by UN.