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PM Narendra Modi-Xi Jinping to resume one-on-one interaction

29 April 2018

India signalled as recently as Tuesday its opposition to the grand trade and transport plan because one of its branches runs through Pakistani-administered Kashmir, which India claims.

The first occasion was in Xi'an in 2015 where he had met Modi.

"The two leaders, based on correct understanding, outlined a blueprint for future of China-India relations", he said. Building upon the Astana consensus of 2017, the Chinese side said in a statement that both countries had the "maturity and wisdom" to handle their differences through peaceful discussion and by respecting each other's concerns and aspirations.

The two leaders recognised the common threat posed by terrorism and committed to cooperate further on counter-terrorism, he said.

"The 2 militaries will strengthen confidence-building measures and enhance communication and cooperation to uphold border peace and tranquility", said China's vice foreign minister Kong Xuanyou.

Gokhale said Modi and Xi were of the view that Special Representatives on border talks from both countries will have to intensify their efforts to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement. "We want to know", he said.

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It did not, however, mention the border dispute.

As the informal summit concluded on Saturday, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping vowed that India-China border will be a quiet place. Xi was made China's president for life after the ruling Communist Party amended the constitution in March.

No details were available on the purported joint project apart from what had been discussed in the past about developing Afghanistan's infrastructure and the country's vast mineral resources.

With China facing a potential tariff war with the United States, Beijing and New Delhi could find common ground on global trade, Pant added. "India is pursuing its "Make in India" initiative, so it is concerned the USA might one day do the same to it", said Associate Professor Lin Minwang, an expert on Sino-Indian ties at Fudan University.

Xi greeted Modi at a Hubei province museum in the city of Wuhan for what has been billed as an "informal" meeting that will continue on Saturday.

India and China went to war in 1962 over their border and still carry the baggage of 3,500 km long disputed boundary. "They will not engage in closed and exclusive circles", he said.

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"China and India should be good neighbours and friends".

This can be a hint that India and China may desire to work more closely in view of the challenge to the WTO-guided multilateral world trading order that United States president Donald Trump appears to be posing by initiating bilateral protectionist steps, in the process hurting both China and India (and others) in varying degrees.

China is also suspicious of India's hosting of the Dalai Lama and other exiled Tibetans.

"I don't think he would like to go into an election with the kind of relationship, the low point it had reached over the previous year", Pant said.

Modi and Xi are set to meet again soon, when Modi visits China in June for a summit of the China and Russia-led Shanghai Cooperation Organisation security bloc.

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PM Narendra Modi-Xi Jinping to resume one-on-one interaction