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BRICS Summit: PM Modi and Xi Jinping meet, hold bilateral talks in Brasilia over key issues to ensure co-operation

Xi told PM Modi that he was willing to maintain close communication "to guide a better and more stable development of China-India relations". The Chinese president also asserted that he is looking forward to the next informal summit in 2020 between the two leaders.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is in Brazil for the 11th BRICS Summit, met Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday on the sidelines of the meeting. The two leaders met over a month after they held their second informal summit in India on October 11-12.

Addressing the bilateral meeting, PM Modi stated that the informal meets between the two leaders to ease relations without any set agenda has been great in maintaining healthy ties between the nations.

Meeting in Brazil on the sidelines of meeting the BRICS nations – Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa,  Xi told Modi that he was willing to maintain close communication “to guide a better and more stable development of China-India relations.” The two should “increase political mutual trust, properly manage differences and expand practical cooperation so as to guide a better and more stable development of bilateral ties,” Xi was quoted as saying.

President Xi also reiterated the next year’s informal summit between the two leaders. “2020 will be here soon, and I hope China-India relations will achieve new and greater development in the new year,” the statement quoted Xi as saying. “I welcome you to come to China for another meeting next year.”

Jinping also thanked PM Modi for India’s substantial participation in the just-concluded China Import Export Expo in Shanghai.

The meeting between Modi and Xi comes days after India decided not to join China-backed mega Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) over unresolved “core concerns”. Conveying India’s decision not to join the China-backed RCEP deal at a summit meeting of the 16-nation bloc PM Modi had on Monday said that the proposed deal would have an adverse impact on the lives and livelihoods of all Indians.

It is notable here that despite differences over many issues, from BRI to blacklisting Pakistan and taking a pro-Pakistan line in the issue of Kashmir, Modi and Xi have been successful in skirting these differences and ensuring co-operation over key issues of bilateral trade and relations.

Read: Air strikes by India: Pakistan’s ‘all-weather friend’ China urges to observe ‘restraint’

In the meanwhile, India, under the Modi government has also successfully conveyed to China that as far as national interests are concerned, India will meet China as equals and will no longer be bullied by it. The Doklam standoff between India and China had delivered the message well.

Read: After constant criticism over Doklam, Shashi Tharoor led parliamentary panel which included Rahul Gandhi, praises govt’s handling of the standoff

After the Modi government effectively abrogated Article 370 and accorded Union Territory status to J&K and Ladakh, Pakistan and China had criticised India’s bold move. Then too, India had reacted sharply to China’s ‘concern’ asking China not to interfere in the internal matters of India.

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