Bilateral bonhomie not bottlenecks — on the surface at least — will be in focus during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s upcoming China visit.
Issues of common interest, including the festering border question, will be on the agenda when Modi sits down for separate talks with President Xi Jinping, Premier Li Keqiang and Zhang Dejiang, head of China’s Parliament, the National People’s Congress, during his three-day visit beginning May 14.
But much of the focus outside the sombre meeting rooms in Beijing will be on reciprocating the warmth shown to Xi during his trip to India last September.
China “deeply appreciated” how warmly Xi was welcomed by Modi and the government here is working to ensure that it could now show the Indian PM how it “values” its relations with India.
“President Xi was warmly received by PM Modi and China deeply appreciates this. We are now in close communication with the Indian side on the preparations to host PM Modi in China,” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Hua Chunying said at the press briefing on Wednesday.
“The boundary question is an issue of common interest. So I believe that this question will be covered in their talks. We look forward to enhancing the communication with the Indian side to strive for more progress on the relevant issue,” Hua said.
A marker of how positive bilateral relations were was the way Indian media have lately reported on Sino-India relations.
“As for what progress was made in bilateral cooperation we can say that the Indian press has been giving some positive comments on the bilateral relations.
For example, the two sides have maintained the peace and tranquillity in border area and positive outcomes have been achieved in economy and trade as well as on some other issues,” she said.
Hua said Xi’s India visit was successful.
“The two leaders (Modi and Xi) mapped out a strategic cooperative partnership. We are willing to work with India to enhance strategic mutual trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation and cultural exchanges,” she said.