EghtesadOnline: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday that relations between their countries have attained stability and momentum in the past year, and that it should enable them to manage their differences and avoid disputes.
The two leaders avoided the vexed Kashmir dispute from clouding their summit in the seaside temple town of Mamallapuram. Modi said both countries agreed to be sensitive to each other’s concerns as they held delegation-level talks, Yahoo News reported.
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.
Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters that “this issue was not raised and discussed,” but that Xi apprised Modi of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Beijing earlier in the week, Financial Tribune reported.
“India-China relations are not predicated to a single issue,” Gokhale said, adding that the latest developments in Kashmir were an internal matter of India.
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.
Gokhale said the two countries decided to set up a group at the finance ministers’ level to discuss trade and investment issues, especially India facing a whopping $63 billion trade deficit with China.
According to India’s Commerce Ministry, India’s exports to China amounted to $13.33 billion in the 2018 financial year, compared with imports of $76.38 billion.
Xi arrived in India two days after hosting Pakistani Prime Minister Khan in Beijing.