Xi’s visit a defining moment in India-China ties

Updated - November 16, 2021 07:43 pm IST

Published - September 17, 2014 01:34 am IST - BEIJING/ NEW DELHI:

China and India have described President Xi Jinping’s visit to New Delhi on Wednesday as a defining moment in ties, whose trajectory would have a major impact across the globe.

President Xi warmed up to the larger undertaking in India, with visits to the Maldives and Sri Lanka — countries in the Indian Ocean, which were part of China’s blueprint of the Maritime Silk Road (MSR).

In New Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi, called President Xi’s visit as the commencement of “Millennium of Exceptional Synergy.” Mr. Modi said the upcoming meetings with the visiting President should be called “INCH towards MILES.” He elaborated on the acronyms by saying that INCH stood for India-China, while MILES meant Millennium of Exceptional Synergy. The Prime Minister hoped that Wednesday’s dialogue would mark a positive beginning to achieve this goal of “INCH towards MILES.”

Mr. Modi explained that China and Gujarat — Mr. Xi’s first destination upon arrival in India — shared historical bonds, underscored by the time spent in the State by the Chinese Monk Xuan Zang. Currently, Chinese businesses have established manufacturing units in Gujarat and vice-versa, he observed.

On its part, the Chinese Foreign Ministry raised expectations about the visit. It said Mr. Xi was about to embark on a “historic visit” that had global implications. Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei stressed that China and India were two important pillars in the world and two important emerging markets as well as two civilizations.

According to the formulation adopted by the Chinese foreign office, the border issue did not influence bilateral ties, as Beijing and New Delhi have for long maintained stability along their frontiers.

While underplaying the border row, the spokesman, nevertheless, pointed out that the two sides should make continuous efforts to maintain tranquillity and stability on the border.

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