Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping amid differences between the two countries over a raft of issues, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which runs through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
The meeting was held this morning on the sidelines of G20 leaders summit at the Hangzhou West Lake State Guesthouse.
The meeting between the two leaders comes in the backdrop of contentious issues including listing of Pakistan-based terrorist organisations in the UN, China stalling India’s membership at the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
The two leaders had last met at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in June in Tashkent and again set to meet in Goa next month on the sidelines of BRICS summit.
India today raised its concern with China over the CPEC which runs through PoK and terrorism “emanating from the region” as Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Chinese President Xi Jinping the two countries need to be “sensitive” to each other’s strategic interests.
Asserting that fight against terror should not be motivated by “political considerations”, Modi said it is of “paramount importance that we respect each other’s aspirations, concerns and strategic interests” to ensure durable bilateral ties.
During the bilateral meeting with Xi on the sidelines of the G20 summit here, Modi raised India’s concerns over the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) being laid through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
Besides a host of energy-related projects, the CPEC consists of rail, road and pipelines to ferry oil and gas from Gwadar port on Arabian Sea to Kashghar in China’s Muslim-dominated Xinjiang province through PoK.
Replying to a question whether the terrorism emanating from the region where the CPEC is being laid through has been discussed, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup told reporters the issue has been raised during the meeting.
In his candid comments reflecting India’s concerns, Modi said both India and China need to be “sensitive” to each other’s strategic interests and called for specific actions to “prevent growth of negative perception”.
“As a matter of principle, both countries would have to be sensitive to each other’s strategic interests,” Swarup said while touching upon broad themes that Modi stressed upon during his 35-minute bilateral with Xi, their eighth meeting.
“In order to promote positive convergence, we would also need to prevent growth of negative perception. For this, the specific actions by both countries would play the major role,” he said.
In particular, Modi highlighted that “we have succeeded in maintaining peace and tranquility on the border”, he added.
Condemning the recent suicide bomb attack on the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, Modi said it is yet another proof of the continuing scourge of terrorism.
“The Prime Minister reiterated that our response to terror must not be motivated by political considerations,” Swarup said.
On his part, Xi said China is willing to work with India to maintain their “hard-won sound” ties and further boost bilateral cooperation.
“China is willing to work with India to maintain their hard-won sound relations and further advance their cooperation”, state-run Chinese Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying.
“China and India should respect and care for each other on issues of major concern, and handle differences in a constructive way,” Xi told Modi.
Xi said both sides had seen healthy, stable and speedy development of their relationship, and that as neighbours and developing nations they should continue high-level exchanges.