WUHAN: India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have agreed to strengthen communications and maintain peace along the border following the conclusion of a two day “informal” summit held in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, Sunday.
“The two leaders underscored the importance of maintaining peace and tranquility in all areas of the India-China border region in the larger interest of the overall development of bilateral relations,” read a joint statement issued by the Indian Foreign Ministry.
The meeting comes less than year after the two countries became locked in a tense 72-day military standoff last summer in the disputed border region of the India-China-Bhutan “trijunction.”
The incident was the latest in a long-running series of territorial flare-ups between the two nuclear-powered neighbors. In 1962, China and India engaged in a bloody border war, and skirmishes have continued to break out sporadically in the decades since.
China Says Won’t Force India To Join Beijing’s Key Belt And Road Project
Beijing will not stress on India joining China’s key Belt and Road infrastructure project, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said today after an informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan.
Xi has put his weight behind the OBOR (One Belt, One Road) project as the communist nation works to expand its influence across Asia and beyond. Xi was made China’s president for life after the ruling Communist Party amended the constitution in March.
China does not think it is important whether India accepts China’s Belt and Road infrastructure project and China won’t force it to, Kong told reporters in Wuhan. He also said China does not think the Indian government has changed its official position that Tibet is a part of China.
India has expressed strong reservations against the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key segment of the OBOR, as the 3,000-kilometre-long corridor passes through Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, meaning India will under no circumstances accept the project.
The $50 billion CPEC connects Kashgar in western China with Gwadar port in Pakistan.
PM Modi, who was on a two-day visit to China, discussed trade, strategic military relations, tourism and other regional issues with Xi. However, there were no agreements or announcements.
During a press briefing, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the two leaders underscored that it is important to maintain peace and tranquillity in all areas of the India-China border region.