Prime Minister Narendra Modi met Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Astana on Friday.
Modi called for India and China to respect each other’s core concerns and appropriately handle the disputes. The meeting of the two leaders comes amid tensions in the bilateral ties between the two countries over a host of issues including the China Pakistan Economic Corridor and India’s membership to the Nuclear Supplier’s Group.
Also, just last month India boycotted the high-profile Belt and Road Forum in Beijing in which 29 world leaders took part. India abstained from the summit to highlight its concerns over the USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which is part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and passes through Gilgit and Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
During his meeting with Xi, Modi said the two sides should tap their potential in cooperation, strengthen communication and coordination in international affairs, respect each other’s core concerns and appropriately handle their disputes.
The Indian side is grateful for China’s support for India’s accession to the SCO and will work closely with China in the organisation, Modi said.
On his part, Xi told Modi that the two sides should increase communication and coordination in multilateral affairs and appropriately control and handle disputes and sensitive problems, China’s official Xinhua news agency said.
In Beijing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing that both the countries “should also address sensitive and major issues”.
“India should focus more cooperation and work alongside to provide assistance to each other’s developmental goals,” Hua said.
President Xi also congratulated India on becoming official member of the SCO.
The Chinese president called for more high-level interactions, institutionalised exchanges, strategic communication and policy alignment between the two countries, Xinhua reported.
China and India should also boost trade and investment cooperation and work together for earlier harvest from large-scale cooperation projects in such areas as production capability, industrial parks and railway construction, Xi said.
So far, China has been vocal about its stand to block India’s admission into the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). It had also stalled India’s move to list Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN.
(With inputs from PTI)