Xi, Modi Hold Bilateral Talks in China, Agree to Improve Ties

Xi, Modi Hold Bilateral Talks in China, Agree to Improve Ties

This comes six weeks after they had decided in Wuhan, at an informal summit, to issue "strategic guidance" to the militaries to avoid another Doklam-type situation.

Xi's visit will be preceded by a flurry of high-level meetings this year, including meetings between the foreign, defence and home ministers and the national security advisers.

The entry of India and Pakistan could pave the way for greater three-way cooperation between India, China and Pakistan, former Chinese Ambassador to India and Pakistan Zhou Gang, told India Today.

However, there is no official word on whether there will be any interaction between Modi and Pakistan President Hussain, who is scheduled to attend the meeting in China. This was the second meeting between Modi and Xi this year and the 14th in the past four years. "He stated that it was a new starting point in our bilateral relationship".

Modi arrived in the picturesque coastal city of China's Shandong province on a two-day visit to attend the annual summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).

Sharing some aspects of the almost 50-minute meeting, the foreign secretary said Xi described the Wuhan summit as a "new starting point" in bilateral relations between the two countries while prime minister called it as a "milestone" in ties which will help in developing mutual understanding and trust.

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In his remarks, Xi recalled the meeting with Modi in Wuhan, how well it had been received, and said a positive atmosphere was taking shape to support China-India relations.

"There were some discussion on trade and investment related issues".

Talking about the outcome of the meeting, Gokhale said both the sides agreed to set up a new people-to-people mechanism to enhance cooperation in several areas such as art and culture. Speaking at the restricted session of the SCO Summit, Prime Minister Modi also floated the concept of SECURE: "S" for security for citizens, "E" for economic development, "C" for connectivity in the region, "U" for unity, "R" for respect of sovereignty and integrity, and 'E for environment protection.

In this context, Xi also referred to growing popularity of Indian films in China and particularly mentioned about films Dangal and Bahubali. The Special Representatives on the border issue will also meet this year. Xi also called for inclusive development and sustainable security, saying they can be achieved by enhancing mutual trust and the foundations for shared peace and security. China is gambling its diplomatic credibility on the chance it can facilitate better relations between India and Pakistan at the SCO summit.

Terrorism is the most severe security challenge the SCO faces.

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation estimates that China will buy 6.4 million tonnes of rice in 2018, while India will export a total of 11.9 million tonnes.

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