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Modi & Xi Discuss Improving Ties

Saturday 12 October 2019

MAMALLAPURAM (Reuters) — Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Saturday he had a free and frank discussion with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and would pursue proposals the two leaders discussed to improve bilateral ties.

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi (3rd R) and China’s President Xi Jinping (3rd L) attend delegation level talks in Mamallapuram on the outskirts of Chennai, India, October 12, 2019.
(Credit: India’s Press Information Bureau)

Modi and Xi held several hours of one-on-one talks in a southern seaside Indian town in their second annual summit designed to break through decades of distrust between their countries over border disputes, a ballooning trade deficit and China’s close military ties with India’s arch rival, Pakistan.

Ties were ruffled when India revoked the special status of the Himalayan territory of Kashmir in August, angering both Pakistan, which claims the region, and its all-weather ally China. India and China share a 3,500 km border, over which they went to war in 1962. Its course remains unresolved despite more than 20 rounds of talks.

India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the two leaders spent nearly five hours discussing bilateral issues that have often been fraught. The two leaders discussed economic issues, including India’s $53 bln trade deficit with China in 2018/19, and ways to tackle it, Gokhale said. China, for its part, was expected to urge India to take an independent decision on telecom equipment maker Huawei’s bid for India’s proposed 3G network and not be swayed by U.S. pressure. The United States has asked its allies not to use Huawei equipment, which it says China could exploit for spying.

Modi took Xi on a personal tour of temple monuments dating back to the seventh and eighth century at Mamallapuram in southern India when regional leaders had trade ties with Chinese provinces.


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