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Thursday, Sep 19, 2019

Modi, Xi want peace at border, trust between militaries of two nations

PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held one-on-one talks on the second day of a two-day informal summit in Wuhan, aimed at improving bilateral relations.

india Updated: Apr 28, 2018 15:27 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Wuhan
PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping along the East Lake in Wuhan, China.
PM Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping along the East Lake in Wuhan, China.(Photo: PIB/Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping underscored the importance of maintaining peace along the India-China border, foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale said at the end of the two-day summit between the two leaders in Central Chinese city Wuhan.

The Indian diplomat did not mention whether Modi and Xi discussed the military standoff at Doklam (Donglang) but his statement indicated that the two leaders were serious in not allowing a repeat.

READ: Modi, Xi agree to work on a joint economic project in Afghanistan: Sources

“And, to this end, the two leaders decided, they would issue strategic guidance to their respective militaries to strengthen communication, to build trust and understanding, to implement various confidence-building measures, which have already been agreed upon by the two sides,” he said.

Gokhale added that Modi and Xi agreed to strengthen existing institutional mechanisms to prevent and manage situations in the border areas.

READ: Warm handshakes to border standoffs: Highs and lows in India, China ties

“On the issue of the India-China boundary question, the two leaders endorsed the work of the Special Representatives (SR) in their efforts to find a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement,” Gokhale said at a press conference at the end of the summit.

The foreign secretary said Modi and Xi reached a consensus that the two countries have the maturity and wisdom to handle all differences with peaceful discussion within the context of the overall relationship.

“A number of confidence building measures already agreed upon by the two sides will be implemented and the information sharing arrangements will be improved to prevent and manage situations along the border areas,” he said.

Earlier in the day, Modi and Xi met for the final and the most “informal” rounds of one-on-one talks of the summit when the two leaders went for a boat ride on the East Lake and exchanged views during a 30-minute walk on the manicured lawns along the lake.

The two leaders also witnessed the traditional Chinese tea-making ceremony while engaging on topics like international, regional and bilateral issues.

Xi then hosted a private lunch at the guest house where, again, only the two leaders and their interpreters were present.

First Published: Apr 28, 2018 10:20 IST