India, China pledge deepening overall cooperation

NEW DELHI, Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping held on Friday and Saturday extensive talks in the framework of the Second Informal Summit in the southern Indian city of Chennai, agreeing to enhance cooperation on bilateral, regional and global levels.

In a press statement after the conclusion of one-to-one and delegation level talks, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs said: “The two leaders had an in-depth exchange of views in a friendly atmosphere on overarching, long-term and strategic issues of global and regional importance.” However, addressing reporters after the talks, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said that Kashmir “issue was not raised and not discussed,” adding “our position is anyways very clear that this is an internal matter of India.” Both sides shared their approaches towards national development and underlined that India-China bilateral interaction can be deepened so that the growing role of both giants will reflect on the global stage, the statement said. Both leaders also underlined the importance of working for a “peaceful, secure and prosperous world” amid significant readjustment in the international situation. The new world order should be designed in a way all countries can pursue their development within a rules-based international order,” the statement said.

They underlined the consensus reached during the first Informal Summit in the Chinese city of Wuhan in April 2018. They also emphasized the importance of prudently managing their differences of opinion and not allow them to develop into disputes as both “India and China are factors for stability in the current international landscape”.

Modi and Xi also agreed that a rules-based and inclusive international order is in the interest of both countries and reforms should reflect the new realities of the 21st century. They also expressed displeasure over selective questioning of globally agreed trade practices and norms and vouched for a rules-based multilateral trading system.

Furthermore, both neighbors pledged to work together for open and inclusive trade arrangements that will benefit all countries. They also underlined the importance of addressing climate change and helping countries achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Terrorism figured as a major point of discussion during the meeting and both leaders expressed concern over the common threat that terrorism poses.

“As countries that are large and diverse, they recognized the importance of continuing to make joint efforts to ensure that the international community strengthens the framework against training, financing and supporting terrorist groups throughout the world and on a non-discriminatory basis,” the statement said.

They also supported more action to foster cultural understanding between the two peoples as both India and China are important contemporary civilizations with great traditions. In addition, they pledged to work together to deepen dialogue and understanding between cultures and civilizations.

Both sides also underlined the importance of economic cooperation. “They agreed that the simultaneous development of India and China presents mutually-beneficial opportunities. The two sides will continue to adopt a positive, pragmatic and open attitude and to enhance appreciation of each other’s policies and actions in line with the general direction of their friendship and cooperation,” the statement read.

Both men also expressed desire for a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of outstanding issues, including on the boundary question. “They have welcomed the work of the special representatives and urged them to continue their efforts to arrive at a mutually-agreed framework for a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement based on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles that were agreed by the two sides in 2005,” the statement said.

In addition, they pledged to work together to “ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas, and that both sides will continue to work on additional confidence-building measures in pursuit of this objective.” The Chinese President’s visit heading a 100-member delegation came amid growing regional tension especially after New Delhi’s decision to abrogate a constitutional provision granting special status to the border state of Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcation of the state into two union territories with Chinese territorial claims. Recent visit to China by Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan and growing relations between the two nations have given added importance to Xi’s India visit, especially on the backdrop of Indian objection to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which got further Chinese support recently. However, Kashmir issue did not come up for discussion while both leaders agreed to iron out border disputes, especially Chinese territorial claims on Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh through mutually acceptable settlement.

Source: Kuwait News Agency