Indian PM Modi to Xi Jinping: Differences Should Not Escalate into Disputes

Cheryl Sanders
October 12, 2019

Chinese President Xi Jinping exchanged gifts with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Saturday, October 12, in the coastal state of Tamil Nadu before Xi departed for a visit to Nepal.

An editorial in Global Times called the Mahabalipuram meeting "one of this year's most anticipated summits", and said it would "set the tone and direction for the next stage of China-India ties while providing stability and positive energy for the current world full of uncertainties". He recalled their first informal summit at China's Wuhan previous year that gave "a fresh momentum" and boosted "strategic communication between our two countries". "Today's Chennai Connect will begin a new era of cooperation in the country".

In the article, titled "Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi bank on chemistry as they talk trade and terrorism", it was reported: "The Indian government has recently postured aggressively on cross-border terrorism, placing the blame on Pakistan, a close Chinese ally".

Changes ordered by the New Delhi government will see Kashmir's Ladakh region - part of which is claimed by Beijing - turned into a separate Indian administrative territory.

Speaking highly of Xi's foresight and sagacity, as well as sincerity and pragmatism, Modi said India and China should not only face history, but also forge ahead to create a future, as the world peace and mankind's progress require the two countries' cooperation in the 21st century.

India insists that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India.

The Wuhan summit had been held in the post-Doklam period, after India and China emerged from a bruising 73-day long stand-off on the Himalayan heights of Bhutan in 2017.

But most of the disagreements were pushed to one side so they did not become a summit dispute.

Modi, for his part, said that under the current global situation filled with uncertainties, the efforts of India and China, two major ancient civilizations and developing countries, to strengthen communication, coordination and cooperation and to maintain steady development of bilateral ties bear positive and important significance to both countries and the world. "It is not for other countries to comment on the internal affairs of India", India's External Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

They went to war in 1962 over disputed Himalayan territory and other border standoffs remain.

India and China share a almost 4,000 km border, most of which is disputed.

Mr. Gokhale said President Xi was keen on strengthening the collaboration between the two countries in defence. "India and China will continue to work together for open and inclusive trade arrangements that will benefit all countries", it added.

The Indian press note, issued after the end of Informal summit, stated that the objective of the mechanism would be to achieve "enhanced trade and commercial relations, as well as to better balance the trade between the two countries".

In their first informal meeting previous year, the two leaders reached the consensus that the differences between the two countries should not be allowed to turn into disputes.

After the cultural performance, Modi hosted a special dinner for Xi.

India plans to run 5G trials soon and Huawei is expected to team up with Airtel and Vodafone for this.

The New Development Bank and the China-initiated Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank are important contributions to development and investment finance, he said.

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