Chinese President Xi Jinping agreed to create the “right conditions” to harness the true potential of ties with India after Prime Minister Narendra Modi stressed the need to respect each other’s ‘interests and concerns’, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj told the Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
Swaraj – who gave a detailed statement on Modi’s visit to Brazil this month for the BRICS summit – said Modi had spoken about the “enormous opportunities” to work together, not only to reinforce each other’s development, but also to contribute to peace and progress.
She did not elaborate on the “interests and concerns” in the “shared neighbourhood”, but India has been worried over Chinese efforts to expand its influence to countries like Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Swaraj also took pot-shots at the Congress for trying to suggest it was unusual that Modi did not take her along. Swaraj said former PM Manmohan Singh too had never taken his foreign minister along for the previous five BRICS summits.
Swaraj also said the new development bank and security discussions were the highlights of Modi’s participation at the BRICS summit.
“The initiative for the bank, announced at the BRICS New Delhi summit in March 2012, reflects India’s vision for an international development bank,” she said.