Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to make efforts to put India-China ties in the “right direction” and to “respect and accommodate” each other’s concerns to avoid “impedance” relations, a top Chinese diplomat said today.
Modi and Xi met here on the sidelines of the G20 summit on September 4 amid differences over raft of issues.
“They agreed that efforts shall be made to orientate the development of China-India relations in the right direction,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said in a written reply to PTI today about how China viewed the meeting.
“The two sides also agreed to respect and accommodate each other’s concerns and properly handle sensitive issues to avoid their impedance to the normal development of bilateral relations,” Hua said in response to a question.
In the bilateral meeting with Xi ahead of the G20 summit, Modi raised India's concerns over the USD 46 billion China- Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) being laid through PoK.
He told Xi that “to ensure durable ties and their steady development, it is of paramount importance that we respect each other’s aspirations, concerns and strategic interests”.
Besides a host of energy-related projects, the CPEC consists of rail, road and pipelines to ferry oil and gas from Gwadar port to Kashghar in Xinjiang through PoK.
Their meeting took place in the backdrop of steady decline in the relations over China’s technical hold in UN over banning Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar and Beijing stalling India’s bid to gain members of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) besides CPEC.
Hua said the two leaders agreed to “enhance strategic communication, foster synergies between the development strategies of the two countries, expand exchanges and cooperation in various fields so as to further China-India strategic cooperative partnership”.
After meeting Modi, Xi had said that “China is willing to work with India to maintain their hard-won sound relations and further advance cooperation”.
“China and India should respect and care for each other on issues of major concern, and handle differences in a constructive way,” Xi was quoted by state-run Xinhua news agency as saying.
Commenting on Modi-Xi meeting, Hu Shisheng, Director of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations affiliated to the Chinese Foreign Ministry, said India-China ties faced serious tensions over issues relating to Pakistan.
He said Pakistan has become a visible negative factor in India-China relations.
“This may also be due to India’s rapidly increasing relations with the US and Japan. Chinese scholars apprehend that the Cold War my come again. We should prevent that,” he said and called for enhanced talks between the two countries.
This was Modi’s second meeting with Xi in less than three months. The two leaders had last met at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in June in Tashkent and again set to meet in Goa next month on the sidelines of BRICS summit.
Officials on both sides attach importance to the meeting in view of growing differences between the two Asian giants on bilaterally sensitive issues like listing of Pakistan-based terrorist group Jaish-e-Muhammad leader Masood Azhar.
China too has been concerned over the close ties of India with the US and the recently signed Logistics Exchange Memorandum of Agreement (LEMOA) which will give the militaries of both countries access to each other's facilities for supplies and repairs.