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After meeting with Xi, Modi’s G20 schedule features UK’s May, Turkey’s Erdogan

india Updated: Sep 05, 2016 08:44 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times
PM Modi

Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the BRICS meeting in Hangzhou, China, on Sunday. (PTI)

A day after highlighting the “scourge of terrorism” and Pakistan’s role in liberally spreading it, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be ready to meet more world leaders to exchange bilateral thoughts on Monday, the last day of the 11th G20 Summit in Hangzhou.

On his meeting schedule for Monday are UK Prime Minister Theresa May – who he will meet for the first since she took charge, Argentinian President Mauricio Macri and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

After the bilateral meetings and the participating in G20-related events, Modi flies out of Hangzhou for New Delhi in the evening.

Modi’s Sunday meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping was the eighth meeting between the two and their second meeting in three months following the SCO summit meeting in June 23 in Uzbekistan.

The meeting lasted for about 35 minutes, and the two were known to have touched upon all major issues that currently define the tenuous bilateral relations.

Modi told Xi that India has worked to make closer developmental partnership with China. He highlighted that “we have been successful in maintaining peace and tranquility on the border.

Modi said he always had a strategic vision for Sino-India relations. The partnership is not only important for the two countries but for the entire region and the world.

“As a matter of principle, both countries would have to be sensitive to each other’s strategic interests. In order to promote positive convergences, we would also need to prevent the growth of negative perceptions. For this, specific actions by both countries play a major role,” Modi was quoted as having told the Chinese President by Vikas Swarup, the spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a bilateral meeting in Hangzhou, China on Sunday. (PTI)

For his part, Xi said China wants to maintain “hard-won sound relations” with India, work on deepening synergy and handling bilateral differences.

Official news agency Xinhua quoted Xi as saying: Both sides had seen healthy, stable and speedy development of their relationship, and that as neighbors and developing countries, they should continue high-level exchanges.”

Xinhua, however, did not mention any of the issues brought up by Modi during their meeting like terrorism, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) or the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) issue.

Instead, the official statement used the phrase “hard-won” ties to describe what Xi thinks of the bilateral ties.

In the statement, the only indication that problems plaguing the relations of the two countries could have been discussed was Xi telling Modi: “China and India should respect and care for each other on issues of major concern, and handle differences in a constructive way.”

Xi added: “Two countries should seek synergy between their development strategies and discuss the implementation of pragmatic cooperation in large projects in infrastructure construction and production capacity.”

What is the current status of Sino-India relations? Will the new and prickly problems be resolved?

Mao Siwei, the former Chinese consul general to Kolkata, thinks relations might take time to unfreeze.

“The strategic contradiction between China and India is obvious. The two countries will have to demonstrate their strategic intentions in the long run with the chance of Hangzhou G20 summit. The structural contradictions might not be easily solved with just one meeting. The BRICS meeting in India will provide another chance for both leaders. We have to observe the future direction of Sino-Indian relations after taking the two meetings into consideration,” Mao told state media.

On the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor), Mao said differences will exist.

“India holds disagreements on building the corridor, mainly because the corridor passes through the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir region, and the Kashmir issue is a key problem between India and Pakistan. India thinks it has to demonstrate its opposition concerning its core interests.

“Personally, I think India has the inevitability for its stance, and China will avoid large-scale programmes in the Pakistan-controlled Kashmir region concerning the set strategies of the Kashmir problem. However, India has no reason to oppose to China’s programs such as electrical cooperation and economic parks on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor,” Mao said.

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