Modi congratulates Xi on ‘re-election’, says looking forward to working together

On Wednesday, Xi Jinping unveiled China’s new leaders – under his unequivocal leadership – for the next five years.

world Updated: Oct 26, 2017 09:09 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis
Sutirtho Patranobis
Hindustan Times, Beijing
Narendra Modi,Xi Jinping,India
Prime Minister Narendra Modi meeting the President of the People’s Republic of China, Xi Jinping, on the sidelines of the 9th BRICS Summit, in Xiamen, China on September 5, 2017.(PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has congratulated Chinese President Xi Jinping on his “re-election” as the general secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and said that he looks forward to working with him to promote Sino-India ties.

Modi’s account on Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, was updated in Chinese early on Thursday morning with a congratulatory message on it.

“Congratulations to President Xi on getting re-elected as CPC General Secretary. Look forward to further promote India-China ties together,” Modi said in his message.

Modi’s message to Xi came hours after the Chinese leader unveiled China’s new leaders – under his unequivocal leadership – for the next five years.

Modi has some 1.8 lakh followers on Weibo on which he opened an account before his first visit to China as PM in May 2015.

Modi and Xi had last met one-on-one on the sidelines of the BRICS summit in the coastal city of Xiamen in China in early September.

They had met days after the resolution of a military standoff between the border troops of the two countries in the Donglang region bordering Sikkim after more than 70 days.

The meeting of the two leaders was preceded by several weeks of belligerent rhetoric from the Chinese government which alleged that Indian troops had “illegally trespassed” into Chinese territory in Donglang area, which is under Beijing’s control but claimed by Bhutan.

The meeting between the two leaders calmed frayed diplomatic and military nerves.

“I met with President Xi Jinping and conducted fruitful discussions on the development of bilateral relations between India and China,” was Modi’s Weibo message after he met Xi in Xiamen.

Sino-India relations have been especially tenuous in the past several months.

But the two leaders are said to enjoy a fair rapport and it was their brief meeting on the sidelines of G20 meeting in Hamburg in July that hastened the resolution of the Donglang (Doklam) standoff.

Besides Modi, several world leaders have congratulated Xi after he consolidated his powers and took over as the CPC general secretary for the next five years. Xi also hasn’t indicated any clear successor when his term gets over in 2022.

US President Donald Trump congratulated Xi on his “extraordinary elevation” over phone hours after the Chinese leader unveiled the country’s new top leadership.

The two leaders spoke on the situation in North Korea and bilateral trade.

Trump tweeted:

Trump will be in China between November 8 and 10 as part of his east Asia tour and the two leaders are due to hold talks on several bilateral and international issues. They had last met at the G20 summit in July.

First Published: Oct 26, 2017 07:46 IST