China’s Xi invites Modi to visit, calls for ‘early’ border settlement

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China's Xi Jinping meet ahead of the BRICS Summit.  

China’s President Xi Jinping on Tuesday invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to visit China in November and called for a “negotiated resolution” to the boundary dispute “at an early date”, as the two leaders held their first ever meeting in Brazil.

In Fortaleza to >attend the BRICS Summit, Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi met for 80 minutes – extending beyond the scheduled 40 minutes – in what was described as a frank and candid discussion covering a range of issues.

Mr. Xi said he was looking forward to his September visit to India, and also welcomed Mr. Modi to visit China this year.

Indian officials in Fortaleza told the Press Trust of India that China had invited Mr. Modi to attend the APEC leaders’ meeting in Beijing in November.

However, Indian officials were quoted as saying that with scheduled SAARC and G20 meetings that same month, the visit may take place at a later date. It is possible that Mr. Modi will visit in December.

In the meeting, Mr. Xi called for a “negotiated solution to the border issues at an early date”, the official Xinhua news agency quoted the Chinese leader as saying.

Prime Minister Modi said that maintaining peace and tranquility on the border was essential for resolving the issue, PTI reported. He emphasised that there was a need to ensure that incidents on the border did not undermine relations.

The Prime Minister said India was willing to peacefully settle the boundary issue through exisiting mechanisms and friendly negotiations.

He also stressed the growing economic ties between the two countries and underlined his government’s willingness to welcome Chinese investment in infrastructure and industrial parks.

Both sides recently signed a first ever MoU on setting up China-dedicated industrial parks with four such parks being considered, as Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman held talks with her counterpart Gao Hucheng in Beijing last month, during the Vice President’s visit here.

The Prime Minister also referred to India and China’s common civilisational heritage, and links through Buddhism, and called for both countries to do more together to tackle their common challenge of fighting terrorism.

Mr. Modi also suggested the setting up of an additional route for the Kailash Mansarovar yatra in Tibet, as he pointed out that he had also undertaken the pilgrimage on the challenging current route. Mr. Xi assured Mr. Modi that this would be considered.

The Chinese President said he wanted both countries to launch “a batch of exemplary projects” in infrastructure, such as railway construction, to enable more balanced and sustainable trade. The rising trade deficit in China’s favour, reaching $ 29 billion last year, was raised by Mr. Modi.

Mr. Xi also said China welcomed India to join its initiative to set up a new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank as a founding member, the official Xinhua news agency reported.

On the boundary issue, he said both sides should “manage, control and handle differences” with a “positive and forward-looking attitude”. He called for both sides to find a “fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution” at “an early date”.

Mr. Modi was quoted as saying that the new government in New Delhi was “more committed to economic development”, and that India hoped to learn from China’s economic success.

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Printable version | Oct 25, 2021 7:44:51 AM |

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