India-China relations a factor in global stability, says PM Modi
Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Tuesday India-China relations were a factor of stability in the world and the maintenance of peace and tranquillity in border areas reflected the maturity with which the countries handled their differences, an official release said.
Modi made the statement during a meeting with Wei Fenghe, state councillor and defence minister of China who is on a four-day visit to India.
“Terming India-China relations as a factor of stability in the world, Prime Minister said that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas is indicative of the sensitivity and maturity with which India and China handle their differences, not allowing them to become disputes,” the release said.
Wei is the highest-level functionary to visit India after Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held an informal summit in April this year.
“Prime Minister Modi appreciated the increased momentum of high-level contacts between India and China in all spheres, including in the areas of defence and military exchanges,” the release said. .
Modi also warmly recalled his recent meetings with President Xi in Wuhan, Qingdao and Johannesburg.
The Chinese minister will have detailed discussions with his Indian counterpart, Nirmala Sitharaman, and other officials.
The proposal for setting up a hotline would come up for further discussion in meetings between Wei and Indian higher-ups, said an official requesting anonymity. He said they were looking to resolve the matter by “narrowing down technical differences”.
There are technical differences over whether the hotline would be between the director-general of military operations of the two countries or between the commanders in charge of border areas on either side. “Neither the PLA nor the Indian army have any objection to the hotline,” said an official. “After Wuhan, there were military delegations from both sides visiting each other. There are improved contacts,” he added.
Former Northern Army commander Lt General BS Jaswal (retd) said India and China always had cordial strategic exchanges at the higher rungs but friction on the ground had still not been controlled.