Modi, Xi say 2018 a good year for India-China ties

Modi, Xi say 2018 a good year for India-China ties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of G-20 summit, in Buenos Aires. PTI Photo

Noting that 2018 had been a good year for India-China relations, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday expressed hope that the 2019 would be even better.

Modi and Xi had a bilateral meeting on the sideline of the G20 summit in Buenos Aires on Friday. They reviewed the progress India and China made in 2018 in mending the ties, which had hit a new low in 2017 over the 72-day-long military face-off at Doklam Plateau in western Bhutan.

The meeting between the two leaders in Buenos Aires was the fourth between the two leaders this year, beginning with the “informal summit” at Wuhan in central China on April 27 and 28.

They also met on the sidelines of multilateral conclaves at Qingdao in China in June as well as at Johannesburg in South Africa in July.

Prime Minister and Chinese President underlined that their “informal summit” in Wuhan and the follow-up meetings at Qingdao and Johannesburg had led to a “perceptible improvement” in bilateral relations, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said.

Modi and Xi reviewed the progress in implementation of the decisions they had taken in Wuhan in April. They noted that progress had been made in the area of economic cooperation. Xi referred to the rise in import of rice and sugar by China from India. He also hinted at the possibility of China importing soya milk from India. Chinese President expressed the hope that India would also import more agricultural products from China. He also indicated that India might be able to export more pharmaceutical products to China, said Gokhale.

They also noted the “positive development” in management of the disputed boundary after the summit in Wuhan.

India and China had a series of engagements this year. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman visited China. Chinese Commerce Minister Zhong Shan visited New Delhi and held meetings with his counterpart Suresh Prabhu. Sitharaman and Home Minister Rajnath Singh hosted Chinese Defence Minister Wei Fenghe and Chinese Public Security Minister Zhao Kezhi in New Delhi. Prime Minister's National Security Advisor Ajit Doval held boundary negotiations with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Both Doval and Wang Yi are Special Representatives of both the governments for boundary negotiations.

Swaraj will host Wang in New Delhi next month for the launch of an India-China mechanism for people-to-people exchange.