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China looks forward to building ties with Modi Government

China has left little doubt this past week that it is more than keen to build ties with Narendra Modi's government in New Delhi.

A day after Premier Li Keqiang congratulated Mr. Modi and declared his intent to take ties forward, China's top diplomat echoed that message in a meeting with the Indian envoy in Beijing, marking an >unusual diplomatic outreach from Beijing on a scale rarely seen so soon after a change in government.

State Councillor Yang Jiechi, the top official in charge of foreign policy, on Tuesday conveyed to Indian Ambassador Ashok Kantha that the Chinese leadership was “ready to work” with the new government under Prime Minister Narendra Modi to take the relationship to a higher level.

His comments came as the official China Daily newspaper in an editorial that departed from its usually sober and cautious assessments declared that there was “unprecedented optimism” in China over what Mr. Modi’s government could do for India’s “growth potential”.

Mr. Yang, who met with Ambassador Kantha in the central leadership compound, Zhongnanhai, said the Chinese leadership under President Xi Jinping was attaching “high importance” to India and “ready to work with the new Indian government to maintain high-level contact”.

Mr. Kantha said India “fully shared the desire to strengthen the strategic partnership”, the Indian Embassy here said in a statement.

He also conveyed to Mr. Yang that the new government in New Delhi under Mr. Modi “will continue a friendly policy with China”, the official Xinhua news agency quoted him as saying.

In an editorial on Tuesday, the official English-language newspaper, China Daily, said Mr. Modi’s “preoccupation with development”, which echoed China’s “own experiences and development philosophy”, had “inspired unprecedented optimism here over our South Asian neighbour’s growth potential”.

“A similar belief in and focus on development has brought China where it is today, and such a commitment to development can create an economic miracle next door in the world’s second most-populous country,” the editorial said.

“Modi is not ‘India's Deng Xiaoping’[the former leader who launched reforms], as some have called him, nor is Gujarat, the state which has spearheaded Indian GDP growth with him behind the helm, ‘India’s Guangdong’”, it said, referring to China’s southern manufacturing heartland.

“Yet as two developing countries pestered by wealth and development gaps, China and India can work together when it comes to development,” the newspaper said.

The paper said "western rhetoric" about both countries being "destined to stand against each other" had been proven wrong by the fact that India and China had "by and large, managed their differences well over the decades".

The editorial also welcomed the invitation to Pakistani Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif for the swearing in, saying that “good neighbourliness” was both “an essential external condition for India’s development agenda” and “converges with China’s national interest”.

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Printable version | Mar 8, 2021 12:33:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/china-looks-forward-to-building-ties-with-modi-government/article6053814.ece

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