India and China on Friday vowed to seek a “political” solution to the boundary issue and proactively resolve it as early as possible amid Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s emphasis that the dispute should not prevent progress in ties, which have been “complex” in the recent decades.
Mr. Modi asked China to “reconsider” its approach on some matters, like visa policy towards residents of Arunachal Pradesh, as he asserted that the two nations have a “historic responsibility” to turn the relationship into “a source of strength for each other and a force of good for the world.”
During their talks in Beijing, Mr. Modi and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang decided to increase the number of border meeting points of their military personnel from the existing four, as they underlined that maintenance of peace and tranquility on the border was an “important guarantor” for the development and continued growth of ties.
Mr. Modi, while making clear that there was “no question of going back”, asserted that “standing still was not an option” and “moving forward is the only way out” in the relationship that has been “complex” in the last few decades.
“Our conversations were candid, constructive and friendly. We covered all issues, including those that trouble smooth development of our relations,” Mr. Modi said at a joint media interaction with Mr. Li.
“I stressed the need for China to reconsider its approach on some of the issues that hold us back from realising full potential of our partnership. I suggested that China should take a strategic and long-term view of our relations,” he said.
“I found the Chinese leadership responsive,” Mr. Modi said, adding that the re-emergence of India and China and their relationship will have a profound impact on the two countries and the course of this century.
Mr. Li said, “We do not deny that there are some disagreements between us but there is a mechanism and sufficient political maturity to address them.”
“We stand ready to work with India to bring China-India relations to new heights,” he said.
On the boundary question, Mr. Modi said the two sides agreed to continue to explore a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable resolution.
“We both reiterated our strong commitment to make all efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border region,” he said.
Briefing media on the discussions, Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar said Mr. Modi asserted at the meeting that the two countries seriously need to work on issues and build a higher level of trust.
“The Prime Minister said there is no question of going back. But standing still also is not an option. Moving forward is the only way,” he said.
Mr. Li said the two countries have been seen as “adversaries and competitors” in the past but the relationship was “poised at an important juncture”, Mr. Jaishankar said.
Earlier, together with Mr. Li, Mr. Modi inspected the guard of honour at the Great Hall of People in Beijing.
After series of meetings on Friday, including an address to the students of Tsinghua University and attending the demonstration of Yoga-Tai Chi, the Chinese martial art, along with Mr. Li, he would head to Shanghai on Friday evening.
Modi thanks Xi on Weibo
Mr. Modi on Friday thanked Chinese President Xi Jinping for productive discussions at Xi’an and posted photos of his visit to the historic city on Weibo.
“Had productive discussions with President Xi. Special thanks to him,” one of his tweets said.
He posted four photos of himself, which included a photo of him and Mr. Xi along with a monk.