NEW DELHI: India and China should be sensitive to each other’s aspirations and needs, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Chinese President Xi Jinping when the two leaders met on the sidelines of the G20 Summit+ in Huangzhou on Sunday. The conciliatory note comes amid rising tensions in India-China ties over a number of issues.
“The Prime Minister told Presdent Xi that it is of paramount importance that India and China+ respect each other’s aspirations,” said Ministry of External Spokesperson Vikas Swarup in a briefing about the meeting between the two leaders.
“The India – China partnership is important not only to each other, but also to the region and the whole world,” PM Modi was reported to have told Xi.
Xi too struck a similar note in his comments to PM Modi. “We ought to respect and give consideration to each other’s concerns, and use constructive methods to appropriately handle questions on which there are disputes,” Xi said, according to China’s Foreign Ministry.
PM Modi also reportedly expressed his condolences to Xi over the attack on the Chinese embassy in Kyrgyztan’s Bishkek, and called for collaboration in fighting terrorism. “Not just India, but countries like China, Russia and a number of others face the threat of terrorism emanating from our neighbourhood,” he reportedly said, in an oblique reference to Pakistan.
The Modi – Xi meeting lasted half an hour. It was the second meeting between the two Asian giants in less than three months. The last meeting had come on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization+ (SCO) Summit in Tashkent in June. Modi and Xi are also set to meet again, when the BRICS Summit+ convenes in Goa in October.
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The attempt to deescalate frictions between the two countries comes at a time when New Delhi and Beijing have been bristling other run-ins over a number of issues. New Delhi has seen red with China’s opposition to India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group+ (NSG), China’s refusal to back an Indian resolution at the United Nations to declare Masood Azhar+ a globally designated terrorist, China’s diplomatic cover to Pakistan, and China’s hardening stand on its territorial claims in the South China Sea among others.
China on its part has expressed consternation and concern over the recent defence logistics agreement between India and the US, it growing engagement with Indian Ocean nations that have a bone to pick with Beijing and Indian infrastructure projects close to the border with China.
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