BRICS Summit 2017: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held bilateral talks on the sidelines of BRICS Summit at Xiamen in China today. The meeting was significant as both leaders were meeting in the wake of over two months of standoff between Chinese and Indian soldiers at Doklam in Sikkim sector.
Both leaders were of the view that situations like Doklam shouldn’t derail their bilateral and mutual and progress. India’s foreign secretary S Jaishankar said Modi and Xi reaffirmed that maintaining peace and tranquility in border areas was a pre-requisite for ties to move forward. He said both leaders took “forward-looking” and “constructive” approach during the over an hour-long meeting.
Modi and Xi felt that there should be a closer communication between the defence and security personnel of India and China, said Jaishankar. They also reaffirmed that it was in the interest of both nations to have good relations.
Modi and Xi reaffirmed the understanding reached by India and China earlier this year at Astana to not allow differences to become disputes. For this, “peace and tranquillity in the border areas is a pre-requisite for ties to move forward”, the leaders felt according to Jaishankar.
When asked about whether India and China have left the Doklam standoff behind, Jaishankar appeared hopeful, saying, “It was a forward-looking conversation and not a backward-looking one.”
During the meeting, Modi also congratulated Xi on the “very successful” BRICS Summit. Modi said the conference was successful in improving the relevance of the five-nation groups in a fast-changing world.
According to Chinese state-run Xinhua news agency, Xi told Modi that both nations should pursue “healthy, stable bilateral ties”. According to Xinhua, the Chinese President said Beijing was willing to work with India on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence (Panchsheel), which were put forward by both the countries, to improve political mutual trust, promote mutually beneficial cooperation, and push Sino-India ties along the right track.
Modi and Xi, however, didn’t talk about terrorism or about Pakistan-based terror groups, who were condemned by BRICS declaration on Monday.
The Doklam standoff had started in mid-June after Indian soldiers stopped the construction of a road by the Chinese Army. The standoff ended in the last week of August.