India and China 'should appropriately address' their differences, says Xi Jinping

Beijing: India and China should appropriately address their differences and consolidate political trust by maintaining strategic communications between the top leaders, Chinese leaders said in their meetings with President Pranab Mukherjee, state media reported on Friday.

"The two sides should appropriately address our differences," President Xi Jinping told Mukherjee during their meeting on Thursday, state-run Xinhua news agency reported.

File image of Xi Jinping. AP

File image of Xi Jinping. AP

Describing Mukherjee as a "seasoned statesman" and "an old friend of China", Xi pledged to boost the strategic and cooperative partnership with India and proposed that the two sides consolidate political trust by maintaining strategic communication between state leaders and making use of various bilateral dialogue mechanisms.

In his meeting with Mukherjee, Premier Li Keqiang said the two countries' development constituted opportunities for each other.

Li suggested the two sides align China's 'Made in China 2025' campaign and 'Internet Plus' initiative with India's 'Make in India' and 'Digital India' campaigns, Xinhua said. The cooperation and development of China and India will not only benefit one-third of the global population, but also help global economic recovery and growth, Li said.

Mukherjee's four-day visit to China ended on Friday with a meeting with State Councillor Yang Jiechi, who is also China's Special Representative for boundary talks with India. Briefing media on Mukherjee-Xi talks, Director General of Asia department of the foreign ministry Xiao Qian said the two leaders agreed to work to resolve differences by every effort but at the same time, be realistic.

"It means they will manage well, the issues that cannot be addressed in a very short time so that these disagreements will not stand in the way of our development and cooperation," Xiao said on Thursday.

The two leaders also agreed to further advance the boundary negotiations under the framework of special representatives so that the tranquillity and peace of the boundary region will be maintained, he said. The boundary issue is a "legacy question from history. We have agreed on advancing the boundary negotiations under the framework of our special representatives mechanism. But before the final settlement of the boundary question, we will take actions to maintain the peace and tranquillity in the boundary region", he said.

Hailing the development of the bilateral ties in recent years, Xi told Mukherjee that the two sides should stick to the theme of neighbourly friendship and reciprocal cooperation to cement the China-Indian relationship and benefit the people of the two countries, the Xinhua report said.

Xi also proposed to tap the potential for practical cooperation between India and China on railways, industrial park, smart city, new energy, environmental protection, information technology, human resources, industrial capacity, investment, tourism and services.

The Chinese president looked forward to closer cultural and people-to-people exchanges as well as law-enforcement and security cooperation between the two countries.

He called for efforts to join their development strategies, advance the construction of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar economic corridor, a component of China’s mega Silk Road initiative in which India is taking part.

He also said India which has joined the China proposed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) should make it a professional and efficient financing platform and conclude the negotiations on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership at an early date.

Commenting on Mukherjee's visit, Sun Shihai, director of the Chinese Association for South Asian Studies, said the Indian President's trip follows a visit to India by Xi in 2014 and seeks to convey the message that the two countries are ready to maintain the tempo of high-level interactions.

Sun said that while China is concerned with improving ties between India and other countries, including the US and Japan, Mukherjee's visit shows India's efforts to strike a balance in its relations with these countries.

Fu Xiaoqiang, a scholar on South Asian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said Mukherjee has a very good understanding of China.

He has visited China a number of times in different capacities. He has also met and interacted with top Chinese leaders, including Xi and Premier Li, during their visits to India, he told state-run China Daily.

These experiences will enable him to better connect with Chinese leaders. "Given that Washington is drawing New Delhi to its side on security, the visit of Mukherjee will help to advance bilateral cooperation in all fields and eliminate disagreements," Fu said.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi is likely to attend the G20 summit in September, which will be followed by the BRICS summit in Goa, which Xi will probably attend, he said. "The visits by leaders of the two nations this year will help to consolidate bilateral political trust, boost economic ties and facilitate people-to-people exchanges,"


Published Date: May 27, 2016 12:39 pm | Updated Date: May 27, 2016 01:05 pm


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