Xi, Modi agree to reduce border tensions
Published: 07:15 PM, 28 April 2018
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi ended informal meetings in China Saturday with a promise to reduce border tensions after a high-altitude standoff in the Himalayas last year.
The leaders have spent two days in the central Chinese city of Wuhan for discussions on how to mend ties strained when troops from both sides came eyeball-to-eyeball in the disputed Doklam area.
Indian`s foreign ministry said in a statement after meeting that the leaders underscored the importance of maintaining peace and tranquillity in all areas of the India-China border region.
It also said they issued strategic guidance to their respective militaries to strengthen communication in order to build trust and mutual understanding and enhance predictability and effectiveness in the management of border affairs.
New Delhi has also raised concerns about Beijing`s Belt and Road initiative, a global trade infrastructure programme that includes a major project through Pakistan-administered Kashmir, a disputed territory that New Delhi claims is illegally occupied.
The issue was not, however, mentioned in the Indian statement. Instead, it emphasized that the two leaders had agreed to cooperate on a wide range of issues from economic development to counter-terrorism.
China`s state news service Xinhua said they exchanged views on bilateral relations, and international and regional issues of common concern Saturday morning in a relaxed, friendly atmosphere.
India and China went to war in 1962 over Arunachal Pradesh, with Chinese troops temporarily capturing part of the Himalayan territory.
In February, Beijing lodged an angry protest with New Delhi over a trip by Modi to the state. Last year, Indian and Chinese troops faced off on the Doklam plateau, an area high in the Himalayas claimed both by China and by India.
The dispute began in June when Chinese troops started building a road on the plateau and India deployed troops to stop the project.
A crisis was averted in August when the two nuclear-armed nations pulled back.
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