Willing to work with India, says Xi

India and China must be “sensitive to each other’s concerns”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Chinese President Xi Jinping, when the two leaders met on the sidelines of the G-20 summit here in an attempt to reboot troubled ties between the two countries.

Officials said that during the 35 minute meeting, Mr. Modi raised several concerns, including “terrorism emerging” from the area covered by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) — the $46 billion connectivity project that India has objected to.

Without naming Pakistan, China’s “all weather ally,” the Prime Minister said, “Our response to terrorism must not be motivated by political considerations.”

In response, President Xi is understood to have said that “China is willing to work with India “to maintain their hard-won sound relations and further advance cooperation”, a tacit acceptance that the relationship needs improvement. According to State-run Xinhua news agency, Mr. Xi suggested that “China and India should continue dialogues at various levels and in various areas, and frequently exchange views on major issues of common interest to enhance understanding and trust.”

MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that at the informal BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India- China-South Africa) summit that followed his meeting with President Xi, the Prime Minister said told the BRICS meet that terror groups “in South Asia and for that matter anywhere do not own banks and factories”.

“Clearly someone funds and arms them and the BRICS must intensify joint efforts not only to fight terror, but coordinate actions to isolate those who are supporters and sponsors of terror,” Mr Modi said, adding that “supply chains (of terrorism) and reach are global, (and) abuse of social media to promote radical ideology is a growing dimension of this threat.”

NSG membership

The MEA spokesperson did not specifically confirm whether the Prime Minister also raised India’s membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). “I am not going into specifics, but if you read between the lines, you can pretty well understand that when we talk of strategic interests and aspirations, it is not as if China is unaware of our strategic concerns and aspirations or we are unaware their concerns. This is something that both sides are very well aware,” he said.

Highly placed sources told The Hindu that all contentious issues, including the NSG, China’s reservations in sanctioning Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar and India’s problems with the CPEC, will now be discussed “openly and frankly” at the newly formed dialogue mechanism between the Foreign Secretary and the Vice-Foreign Minister from China. The forum was established during last month’s visit of Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi to India.

Mr. Modi will also host President Xi at the BRICS summit in Goa on October 15-16, where the leaders are expected to take forward their talks.

In his remarks, President Xi added that the two countries can jointly contribute more to world economic growth and better global governance within the G20 framework, and support India's efforts to host the upcoming BRICS summit.

Referring to bilateral dimension of ties, Mr. Xi proposed that discuss the implementation of “pragmatic cooperation” in large projects in infrastructure construction and production capacity, he said. He underscored that Beijing would encourage Chinese companies to invest in India, seen as essential to spur Prime Minster Modi’s Make-in-India campaign to turn India into a global manufacturing hub.

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Printable version | Jan 26, 2022 11:06:01 AM |

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