Modi tells Xi relations are stable, differences manageable

Xi arrives in India for informal meeting with Modi

Xi arrives in India for informal meeting with Modi

India and China on Saturday announced the setting up of a new high-level dialogue mechanism on economic and trade issues, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi talked of a balance between goods and investment after Chinese President Xi Jinping called for finalising the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). China said India should not act unilaterally in Kashmir, a portion of which China also controls.

Oct 12 ― Chinese President Xi Jinping said today he had a free and frank discussion with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and would pursue proposals the two leaders discussed to improve bilateral ties.

Modi said the Wuhan summit had given "increased stability and fresh momentum to our relationship".

"There is a new focus on people to people connect between the two countries", he added.

Without going into details, Xi said in his opening remarks at the delegation-level talks that he had taken part in candid and in-depth discussions with Modi on various issues since his arrival Friday.

Modi and Xi were meeting at a time of tensions over Beijing's support for Pakistan, India's archrival, in opposing New Delhi's downgrading of Kashmir's semi-autonomy and continuing restrictions in the disputed region.

The Himalayan region has been a long-standing source of conflict between India and Pakistan.

Replying to a query, Gokhale said: "Kashmir issue was not raised and discussed at the informal summit".

There is no set agenda, India's Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"If we can speak on the basis of larger concerns between us, then it would be a significant voice that would be heard on the global stage, of two of the largest countries in the world working together", he said.

India and China share a 3,500-km (2,200-mile) border, over which they went to war in 1962.

The development assumed importance in the light of India repeatedly expressing concern about its trade deficit of more than $50 billion with China.

Modi said both countries have chose to be sensitive to each other's concerns as he and Xi sat down for delegation-level talks on Saturday in the seaside temple town of Mamallapuram.

On commerce, India and China are both facing a protectionist USA and want greater access to each other's markets.

In the Shore Temple on the coast of the Indian Ocean, Xi and Modi talked about the domestic development of China and India and exchanged experience in state governance.

No mention was made however of China's campaign for New Delhi to give Chinese telecoms giant Huawei a key part of India's transformation to 5G communications.

The United States has been lobbying strongly against letting Huawei spread its influence because of its alleged close links to the Beijing government. During talks, China might have urged India to take an independent decision on telecom equipment maker Huawei's bid for India's proposed 3G network and not be swayed by U.S. pressure.

On Saturday, Xi and Modi spend five hours of "quality time" and held discussions on a wide range of issues including the unbalanced trade that exists between the two countries and ways to counter radicalisation and terrorism.

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