Chinese President Xi Jinping told Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday that India and China “do not pose threats” to each other as he expressed Beijing’s willingness to join New Delhi in pushing forward a closer development partnership between the two sides.
President Xi made the remarks during his meeting with PM Modi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek. It was their first interaction after Narendra Modi’s was re-election as India’s prime minister following the stunning victory of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the Lok Sabha elections last month.
In a statement, the Chinese Foreign Ministry in Beijing said that President Xi Jinping told Prime Minister Modi that India and China should deepen cooperation by properly handling differences and called for strengthening Confidence Building Measures to maintain stability at the border.
“China is ready to work with India to continuously advance the closer development partnership between the two countries,” Xi Jinping said.
Xi Jinping urged the two sides to stick to the fundamental judgement that “China and India offer each other chances for development, and do not pose each other threats,” state-run Xinhua news agency reported, citing the statement.
Xi Jinping called on the two countries to keep deepening mutual trust, focusing on cooperation, and properly handling their disputes so as to turn the bilateral relationship into a positive element for their respective development.
Xi Jinping pointed out that China and India are the only two emerging markets with a population of one billion in the world, both of which are at an important stage of rapid development.
Working together, China and India will not only boost each other’s development, but also contribute to peace, stability and prosperity of Asia and the world at large, he said.
Xi Jinping said both the countries should deepen mutual trust, focus on cooperation and properly handle differences, so as to make China-India relations a more positive asset and energy for the development of the two countries, the statement said.
On the vexed boundary issue, Xi Jinping said, “We need to make good use of the meeting of the Special Representatives on the boundary issue and other mechanisms, strengthen Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) and maintain stability at the border areas”.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi are the designated Special Representatives of the boundary dispute.
So far, the two countries have held 21 rounds of talks to resolve differences over the 3488-km long Line Actual Control (LAC).
“We need to expand cooperation channels, carry out cooperation in investment, production capacity and tourism, expand common interests, and jointly promote regional connectivity, including the development of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM) so as to achieve better cooperation and common development,” Xi Jinping said.
The mention of BCIM, which is part of China’s multibillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative is regarded significant as it has not yet taken off unlike the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and other corridors of the initiative.