India, China agree to be sensitive to each other’s interests, strengthen trust
Beijing/Nagpur: Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis who is part of PM Narendra Modi China visit today spoke at the Forum of Leaders of the Regions of India in Beijing.
Speaking at the forum Fadnavis emphasized on strengthening the ties between Maharashtra & Chinese Provinces at Forum of Leaders of Regions. CM announces the sister city agreement between Aurangabad & Dun Huang and thanked Premier Li & PM Modi ji for making Province to Province connect,a reality and look forward to stronger partnerships.
He added that Our country is rapidly urbanizing and so our PM has unveiled his vision of making cities smart.India’s most urbanized state, Maharashtra has much to contribute to it and thus would welcome Chinese expertise and investment in this sector.
Earlier, India and China today agreed that, as they moved ahead, they should be sensitive to each other’s interests; strengthen mutual trust and confidence; continue to manage their differences with maturity;and, seek solutions to outstanding issues.
On the boundary question, the two sides agreed that they continue to explore a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable resolution. Both reiterated their strong commitment to make all efforts to maintain peace and tranquility in the border region.
“I found sensitivity to our concerns on this issue; and, interest in further intensifying confidence building measures. I also reiterated the importance of clarification of Line of Actual Control in this regard,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said at a joint media interaction with journalists in Beijing after talks with Chinese Premier Li Keqiang.
He said the decision by the two sides to enhance strategic communication and coordination on the region was especially significant.
“I sought tangible progress on issues relating to visa policy and trans-border rivers. I also discussed some of our regional concerns,” he said.
The two sides signed more than 20 agreements, covering diverse areas of cooperation which, he said, showed the depth and maturity of the relationship and the positive direction of the partnership.
Mr Modi said the relationship had been complex in recent decades but the two sides had a historic responsibility to turn it into a source of strength for each other and a force of good for the world. “We are committed to set a new direction between the two largest Asian countries. I believe that my discussions with President Xi and Premier Li have advanced our relationship in that direction,” he said.
“Our conversations were candid, constructive and friendly. We covered all issues, including those that trouble smooth development of our relations,” he said.
During the talks, Mr Modi stressed the need for China to reconsider its approach on some of the issues that hold the two countries back from realizing full potential of their partnership. He suggested that China should take a strategic and long term view of their relations. “I found the Chinese leadership responsive,” he said.
A joint statement issued by the two sides today after Mr Modi’s talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Xi’an yesterday and with Mr Li this morning said they had agreed that the process of the two countries pursuing their respective national developmental goals and security interests must unfold in a mutually supportive manner, with both sides showing mutual respect and sensitivity to each other’sconcerns, interests and aspirations.
“This constructive model of relationship between the two largest developing countries, the biggest emerging economies and two major poles in the global architecture provides a new basis for pursuing state-to-state relations to strengthen the international system,” it said.
On the border question, the statement said the two sides affirmed that an early settlement of the boundary question serves the basic interests of the two countries and should be pursued as a strategic objective by the two governments.
“Bearing in mind the overall bilateral relations and the long-term interests of the two peoples, the two sides are determined to actively seek a political settlement of the boundary question. They made a positive assessment of the important progress made through the mechanism of the Special Representatives, and reaffirmed the commitment to abide by the three-stage process for the settlement of the boundary question, and continuously push forward negotiation on the framework for a boundary settlement based on the outcomes and common understanding achieved so far, in an effort to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution as early as possible.
“The two sides will resolve outstanding differences, including the boundary question, in a proactive manner. Those differences should not be allowed to come in the way of continued development of bilateral relations. Peace and tranquillity on the India-China border was recognized as an important guarantor for the development and continued growth of bilateral relations. Pending a final resolution of the boundary question, the two sides commit to implementing the existing agreements and continue to make efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” it said.
The leaders agreed that simultaneous re-emergence of India and China as two major powers in the region and the world offers a momentous opportunity for realisation of the Asian Century. They noted that India-China bilateral relations are poised to play a defining role in the 21st Century in Asia and indeed, globally.
The leaders agreed that the process of the two countries pursuing their respective national developmental goals and security interests must unfold in a mutually supportive manner with both sides showing mutual respect and sensitivity to each other’s concerns, interests and aspirations.
Mr Modi said he was pleased to visit China in the first year of his government, describing it as one of India’s most important strategic partnerships.
“The reason is obvious. The re-emergence of India and China and their relationship will have a profound impact on the two countries and the course of this century,” he said.
Mr Modi said bilateral cooperation was a very important part of their discussion and that they had set a high level of ambition for their economic partnership. “We see enormous bilateral opportunities and many similar challenges, like urbanization,” he said.
The leaders also reviewed action taken on the commitments they had made during the Modi-Xi summit meeting in India in September last year and said they were pleased with the progress made on them.
This includes cooperation in the Railways, where they had identified specific projects, and the two Chinese industrial parks in Gujarat and Maharashtra. Incidentally, Gujarat Chief Minister Anandiben Patel and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis are also in China as part of meetings related to Mr Modi’s visit.
“Both leaders were very supportive about increased Chinese participation in our Make in India mission and infrastructure sector. In Shanghai tomorrow, we will see over twenty ventures in the private sector take concrete shape,” Mr Modi said.
Mr Modi said Mr Xi and Mr Li were very receptive to the specific concerns he had raised on India’s growing trade deficit with China.
“We look forward to early impact on the ground. We have agreed to create a high-level task force to develop a strategic road-map to expand economic relations. It will cover a broad range of areas including Infrastructure, IT, Pharma, Agriculture and Manufacturing,” he said.
“An area of high priority for us is people-to-people contacts. Indians and Chinese don’t know each other well, much less understand each other.
“We have decided to take the relationship out of the narrow confines of governments in the national capitals to states, cities and our people,” he said.
He said that, for the first time, India has launched a State and Provincial Leaders’ Forum with any country. “This is consistent with my firm commitment to cooperative federalism in India,” he said.
Mr Modi said the “Year of India” in China this year and the “Year of China” in India next year would expand tourism between the two countries.
He said India was establishing a Centre for Gandhian and Indian Studies in Shanghai, a Yoga College in Kunming and a bilateral Think-Tanks Forum.
“The Nathu La route for Indian pilgrims to visit Kailash Mansarovar will become operational in June. I want to thank China for that. Our decision to open a consulates in Chengdu and Chennai reflects growing mutual confidence and shared commitment to expand our relationship.
“These steps will help make our relationship more broad-based and people-centric,” he said.
Mr Modi said China and India had many common global and regional interests. “For example, we have a shared interest in the outcome of the international climate change negotiations. We are both trying to strengthen regional connectivity,” he said.
“Terrorism is a shared threat. Instability in West Asia matters to both of us. Peace and progress in Afghanistan benefits us both. I am confident that our international partnership will deepen,” he said.
Overall, Mr Modi described his trip as a “very productive and positive visit”.
“I look forward to working with President Xi and Premier Li. I have welcomed President Xi’s proposal to hold regular summits to realize our vision for the relationship.I have also invited Premier Li to visit India at an early date.
“I look forward to Shanghai tomorrow,” he added.
The joint statement said that, recognizing the expanding bilateral relationship, the growing international role of India and China and the imperative of forging strategic trust, the leaders agreed to enhance communication through frequent exchanges at the leadership level and by fully utilising the existing dialogue mechanisms.
They agreed to regular visits at the level of Heads of State/ Government and to meet on the sidelines of various multilateral fora.
Among other things, the statement covered ways of enhancing military ties, counter-terrorism cooperation, border defence cooperation, closer developmental partnership, trade, investment, infrastructure development, people-to-people and cultural contacts, and so on.
“The two sides support a comprehensive reform of the United Nations, including recognizing the imperative of increased participation of developing countries in UN’s affairs and governance structures, so as to bring more effectiveness to the UN. China attaches great importance to India’s status in international affairs as a large developing country, and understands and supports India’s aspiration to play a greater role in the United Nations including in the Security Council,” the statement said.
The Chinese side took note of India’s aspirations to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), in a bid to strengthen international non-proliferation efforts.
Mr Modi had reached Xi’an yesterday at the start of a six-day three-nation tour that will also take him to Mongolia and South Korea.