Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that the two countries should work to ‘appropriately’ manage their differences, the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement online.
“(China and India) should strengthen multilateral communication and consultation, and appropriately control and manage differences and sensitive issues,” Xi Jinping said, according to the post. Xi also congratulated India on becoming an official member state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) security bloc, jointly led by Russia and China.
The two leaders meet in Astana, Kazakhstan on the sidelines of a summit for the eight country bloc, which also includes nearly a dozen other states as partners or observer states. Modi thanked Xi for supporting India to join the SCO and said that the two countries should respect each others core interests and appropriately manage differences, according to the Chinese foreign ministry post.
No comment was immediately available from the Indian delegation. Xi also said that China and India should increase trade and investment cooperation to ensure that the two countries were able to enjoy more “early stage profits” from large scale projects in infrastructure and industry.
“Substantive progress” on the China-India-Bangladesh-Myanmar project should also be promoted, Xi said, referring to a project to increase connectivity and trade between the four countries.
India has expressed unease over China’s ‘Silk Road’ initiative to expand trade links between China and Eurasia, and did not send government officials from Delhi to attend a summit of leaders and ministers in Beijing in May.
A visit in April by Tibetan spiritual leader the Dalai Lama, who Beijing brands a separatist, to a region controlled by India but claimed by China stoked tensions between the two countries.
The Indian government has since taken steps to cool tensions, rejecting an Australian request to take part in joint naval exercises with the United States and Japan last month to avoid agonising China.
PM Nawaz meets Afghan President on sidelines of SCO summit
The meeting comes amid escalating tensions between the two countries. Ghani on Tuesday accused Pakistan of waging an ‘undeclared war of aggression’ against Afghanistan as he launched a so-called Kabul Process aiming to set the stage for peace talks and clinch an international pact to end ‘cross-border terrorism’.
“What will it take to convince Pakistan that a stable Afghanistan helps them and helps our region?” he had remarked before a gathering of 23 nations, the European Union, the United Nations and Nato.