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Xi moots 100-year plan to cement ties with India

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday declared that Beijing was pursuing an “unshakable policy” of developing close ties with India, and proposed a 100-year plan to cement ties between the two ancient civilizations.

“Maintaining and developing China-India relations is China’s unshakable policy. Under the current international situation, China and India shoulder increasingly important responsibilities in maintaining global stability and promoting development,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry quoted Mr. Xi as saying following his talks over two days with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the historic temple town of Mamallapuram.

“We must orient the rudder in Sino-Indian relations, plan a 100-year plan for Sino-Indian relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, inject a strong endogenous impetus into the development of China-India relations, and work together to realise the great rejuvenation of the two great civilizations of China and India,” President Xi said at the end of the second informal summit with Mr. Modi.

The Chinese President stressed that “military security exchanges and cooperation” between the two countries must be “earnestly” improved.

“We will promote the development of relations between the two militaries along the correct direction of increasing trust and dispelling doubts and friendly cooperation, and carry out activities such as professional cooperation and joint training, continuously enhance mutual trust between the two militaries, strengthen cooperation between law enforcement and security departments, and maintain regional security and stability,” he said.

Mr. Xi also called for” fair and reasonable” solution to the “boundary problem” that is acceptable to both parties based on “Political Guiding Principles Agreement” agreed to by the two countries in 2005.

The Chinese President also welcomed investment of Indian pharmaceutical and information technology companies in China. The foreign ministry statement further said Prime Minister Modi had expressed his willingness to work with China to promote the “Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement”— a giant free trade area in the Asia-Pacific, as soon as possible.

Mr. Xi also advocated the relevance of gradually expanding the “China-India plus” cooperation to South Asia, Southeast Asia and Africa. The China-India plus initiative, first proposed at the Wuhan informal summit last year, is a mechanism of prior consultation to manage overlapping interests of India and China in Asia, Africa and the Indian Ocean.

The statement said a decision has been taken to establish friendly provincial-city relations between Fujian Province of China and Tamil Nadu, Quanzhou City and Chennai City, as part of “a new chapter of the Maritime Silk Road”— a part of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

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