Modi-Jinping meet; China agrees to demarcate border
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to quickly resolve the countries’ border dispute on Thursday, during a joint press conference held after their one-on-one meeting in New Delhi.
Xi said: “China has the determination to work with India through friendly consultation to settle the boundary question at an early date…. We also have the sincerity to work with India to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas before we are finally able to settle the boundary question” (Livemint).
In his remarks at the press conference, Modi said: “I have expressed my concern on the situation along the Line of Actual Control (LAC). We need to have a clarification on [the] LAC to maintain peaceful relations between the two countries and solve the border dispute at the earliest” (Indian Express).
Tensions between India and China flare up occasionally as both nations disagree over the demarcation of their shared border.
Besides border issues, Xi and Modi also discussed nuclear energy cooperation and the countries’ trade deficit.
Modi further announced after the bilateral talks: “We will begin the process of discussions on civil nuclear energy cooperation that will bolster our broader cooperation on energy security” (NDTV, Reuters).
During the bilateral talks, Xi pledged to give greater market access to Indian companies and goods in China. Both countries signed a five-year trade and economic cooperation pact, and China committed to invest $20 billion in India over the next five years. Modi said: “I raised the issue of trade imbalance between the two countries… The Chinese president assured [me] that he will take concrete steps in this regard.” (Economic Times).
In 2013, the bilateral goods trade between India and China was at $65.88 billion, with India exporting goods worth $14.50 billion to China, and importing goods worth $51.37 billion.
While a few Tibetan protesters staged a brief anti-China demonstration during the bilateral talks on Thursday, Tibetan spiritual leader Dalai Lama praised Xi, and said: “I have faith in the new leadership. He (Xi) is open-minded and his way of working is quite realistic” (Economic Times).
The 79-year-old exiled Tibetan spiritual leader, who has been living in India since 1959, after a failed rebellion against Chinese occupation, said further: “I think the Chinese president should learn some of India’s experience…. Look, east India, south India, west India, north India, different language, different script. But no danger of separation”(International Business Times.
Source: Foreign Policy, Sept. 18, 2014