BRICS Summit 2017: In a 'forward-looking' conversation, Modi, Xi discuss new border mechanisms to avoid Doka La-like standoff

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the 9th BRICS Summit in Xiamen on Tuesday, with Xi calling for "healthy, stable bilateral ties" between the two countries.

Soon after the meeting concluded, foreign secretary S Jaishankar conducted a very short media briefing and told the press that both New Delhi and Beijing have reaffirmed the Astana consensus and agreed that they will not let differences become disputes.

File image of Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi. PTI

File image of Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi. PTI

"Dicussions were constructive. Agreed at Astana that will not let differences become disputes, that was reaffirmed," Jaishankar told the media during the briefing in Xiamen.

Affirming that the hour-long meeting between Modi and Xi was 'forward-looking' and 'constructive', Jaishanker said that peace in border areas came up as a crucial talking point. The meeting between Xi and Modi was scheduled for thirty minutes, however, it went on for just over an hour.

The bilateral meet between Modi and Xi comes as a first one-on-one since the standoff near the border area rocked the relationship between the countries for over two months. Indian and Chinese troops last month ended a tense stand-off on the Doka La border which began in June, seriously straining ties.

"There was a forward-looking and constructive approach taken by both sides during the Modi-Xi meeting. The two leaders reaffirmed that it is in the interest of both India and China to have good relations," Jaishankar said on the overall outcome of the meeting.

"Peace and tranquility at the border areas is a prerequisite for fruitful relations between India and China," Jaishankar said on the border issue between the countries.

Urging better communication between the military personnel of India and China, Jaishankar said, "The two leaders felt that there should be closer communication between the defence and security personnel of India and China."

The foreign secretary also mentioned that the two countries need new mechanism to ensure peace in border areas. Jaishankar added that there needs to be more contact among the border personnel of both nations.

On the issue of counter-terrorism, which dominated the BRICS summit on Monday, Jaishankar said that that was not discussed separately. Soon after the conclusion of the meeting, Modi tweeted that the talks with Xi were "fruitful."

Modi leaves for Myanmar on Tuesday soon after bilateral meeting.

It is significant that the day after China, in the joint declaration, mentioned Pakistan-based terror groups such as Lashkar-e-Taiba and Jaish-e-Mohammed, the border issue at Sikkim was taken up as well by the two neighbours.

Defending the move to include these terror groups for the first time in the BRICS joint declaration, foreign ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang had said that BRICS countries have "shown their concerns to the violent activities raised by these organisations".

Concluding the bilateral talks between Modi and Xi, the Chinese president said, "China is willing to work with India on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence to improve political mutual trust, promote mutually beneficial cooperation and push Sino-Indian ties along a right track."

The prime minister was accompanied by senior officials including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and foreign secretary S Jaishankar.

Xi is reported to have said, "India is a valuable partner. We seek guidance from India on the five principles of Panchsheel. India and China are world's two largest economies in the world."


Published Date: Sep 05, 2017 12:54 pm | Updated Date: Sep 05, 2017 01:22 pm


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