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Hostility replaced by hopes for friendly ties: Chinese media on Modi-Xi meet

Prime Minister Modi and President Xi’s meeting at Wuhan in central China has raised expectations of warming ties following the chill in the aftermath of the Doklam military standoff last year.

india Updated: Apr 24, 2018 19:06 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Beijing, Hindustan Times
Narendra Modi,Xi Jinping,Wuan summit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping during a meeting in Tashkent on Thursday on the sidelines of SCO Summit. (PTI)

The meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping is expected to be a landmark in bilateral ties, China’s state media said on Tuesday, adding the summit could emulate the meeting between Rajiv Gandhi and Deng Xiaoping in the late 1980s.

The Modi-Xi meeting in the historic city of Wuhan in central Hubei province later this week has raised expectations of warming ties between the two countries following the extended chill in the aftermath of the Doklam military standoff last year.

“The meeting can be as significant as the one in 1988 when Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping and then Indian prime minister Rajiv Gandhi met, and will set the course for bilateral ties,” the nationalistic Global Times tabloid said in an editorial on Tuesday.

“Indian academia and political circles have agreed the country needs to develop cooperative ties with China. It appears that India is changing its radical attitude toward China highlighted in the Doklam standoff last year,” the editorial added.

The tabloid, usually known to be hostile towards India, said Beijing is hoping for friendly ties with New Delhi.

“Within China, hostility toward India is being replaced by hopes for friendly ties. The two countries need more communication to enhance mutual trust and eliminate the possibility of another border crisis,” it added.

The editorial said the dialogue was between two leaders from countries “with ancient wisdom”.

“China and India have a more robust economic development than other emerging countries and are both independent. Any attempt to manipulate the way they deal with each other will likely fail,” it added.

In a separate article, quoting analysts, the tabloid said the “meeting between Chinese and Indian leaders this weekend is expected to be a landmark move to sustain the good momentum of significant yet fragile bilateral relations”.

“How to promote economic cooperation between the two largest developing countries amid the US-driven anti-globalisation trend, and new mechanisms to safeguard peace and avoid border disputes will likely be on the agenda,” Zhao Gancheng, director of the Shanghai Institute for International Studies’ Center for Asia-Pacific Studies, told the newspaper.

As India moves toward greater global influence, it also becomes a strategic part of the US agenda to contain China’s influence in the Asia-Pacific region, the article noted.

“However, India should stay clear and independent to avoid being used as a pawn,” said Hu Zhiyong, a research fellow at the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences’ Institute of International Relations.

“Asian powers and emerging countries, both China and India share many common interests in international affairs. They both have to strive for the right to develop and face Western pressure on issues like trade and intellectual property rights. There is large room for economic cooperation,” the article said.

First Published: Apr 24, 2018 10:38 IST