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“Sailing in the same boat”: Xi and Modi talk up bilateral ties
April 28, 2018, 7:16 am

Chinese President Xi Jinping (extreme right) and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi sipping tea beside a lake in Wuhan, China on 28 April 2018 [Image: PMO, India]

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held talks all day on a range of bilateral and global issues in the Chinese city of Wuhan on Saturday.

“The great cooperation between our two great countries can influence the world,” Xi said on Friday while welcoming Modi who is looking for a possible rapprochement with China.

The two leaders made statements that seem to suggest they are looking to reset the sometimes touchy relationship between Asia’s most powerful countries.

“The talks with President Xi Jinping focused on diverse areas of India-China cooperation. We discussed ways to give impetus to our economic ties as well as people-to-people relations,” the Indian Prime Minister said on Saturday.

“Strong India-China friendship is beneficial for the people of our nations and the entire world,” he added.

Modi, during a 2-day visit to China, held long informal talks with the Chinese leader, amid growing concerns about a trade row between China and the United States in which the two nations have threatened each other with tariffs.

Both China and India are protesting the US announcement of a 25 per cent tariff on American imports of steel and 10 per cent on aluminum.

A Reuters report this week quoted Indian officials warning India would lodge a trade dispute against the United States at the World Trade Organisation if the Trump administration does not grant it exemptions from higher tariffs on steel and aluminium.

An impending trade war “equally threatens the economic well-being of China and India” writes Indian economist Mohan Guruswamy.

“Thus for the first time in decades the most immediate and important interests of India and China coincide. Both leaders will see the need to act in concert,” according to Guruswamy.

Following Chinese concerns, the Indian administration has also signaled a rethink about the so-called Quad, essentially US efforts to draw India into a maritime security “quad” that includes Japan and Australia.

Earlier this week, India rejected Australian lobbying to take part in a joint naval exercise in the Bay of Bengal with the US and Japan.

In recent months, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government has also distanced itself from public engagement of the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader who lives in exile in India and whom China regards as a “splittist”.

On Saturday, Chinese President Xi held talks with Modi during a stroll around a guesthouse in Wuhan.

The two Asian leaders also embarked on an hour-long boat trip on a lake followed by lunch.

China is India’s largest trading partner although India has not yet signed up to President Xi’s signature foreign policy plan to build a new “Silk Road” of infrastructure and trade links between China and Eurasia.



One Response to “Sailing in the same boat”: Xi and Modi talk up bilateral ties

  1. Dr. Vivek jain Reply

    May 17, 2018 at 8:49 am

    A good news of possible friendship between these two large countries. Even non-hostile relationship between the two will prevent Asian wars in the coming decade. But for friendship , now the ball is in Chinese court:
    A) China should support Indian in UN security Council as permanent member with veto.
    B) China should support India in NSG.
    C) China should import more from India.
    D) China should support India in International Organisations like India supported China in BRICS, SCO and above all in WTO.
    E) China should not protect terrorists from Pakistan from UN sanction. This is non-negotiable for Indians, as far as my discussion with them is concerned. Also it is a right thing to do for civilizational country like China and India.

    Without that, talks mean just talks. I wish relationship between the two increase , and that is why talking straight is useful

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