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Xi, Modi agree to reduce border tensions

Xi, Modi agree to reduce border tensions

China and India, as the two biggest developing countries and two emerging economies each with a population of over 1 billion, are both important engines of global economic growth, as well as backbone forces for promoting multi-polarization and economic globalization, Xi said.

At the end of the two-day informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said, "We feel that there is no fundamental difference between China and India on the issue of supporting inter-connectivity".

The visit was viewed as an important step towards building mutual trust ever since New Delhi and Beijing were locked in a tussle over Doklam, where a military standoff lasting 73 days had put a strain on the same.

The two leaders also discussed climate change, sustainable development and food security and shared their experience in terms of the preservation of the Yangtze - China's longest river - and the Ganga - India's longest river.

While both the leaders chose to issue "strategic guidance" to their militaries to strengthen communications to build trust and understanding - a move aimed at avoiding a Dokalam-like situation in the future - they also agreed to undertake a joint India-China economic project in war-torn Afghanistan, much to the displeasure of Pakistan.

India has pledged over United States dollars two billion on a wide array of reconstruction projects that range from building roads and dams to constructing the building of the Afghan parliament and a slew of grassroots projects.

The leaders agreed on the effectiveness of such informal meetings with plans to hold more of such a nature in the future. Socialism with Chinese characteristics has entered a new era and Modi also proposed the goal of building a "New India", he said, adding that on the road to development and revitalisation, China and India face similar tasks.

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"There is reason to believe that this Wuhan meeting will increase mutual trust, manage and control disputes, deepen cooperation and lead to a new phase in China-India relations", it said.

Modi and Xi had six rounds of talks in the two-day summit where they discussed a wide range of issues.

Both nations have previously said they are committed to solving long-standing border disagreements through dialogue, but progress has been glacial. "Strong India-China friendship is beneficial for the people of our nations and the entire world", Modi said.

Following the most protracted stand-off in years, India last year agreed to pull back troops from the disputed Doklam Plateau high in the Himalayas, where Chinese troops had begun constructing a road.

The minister said that Mr. Xi emphasised that the problems between China and India were "temporary" but the cooperation would be "everlasting".

In what can be considered a big jolt for Pakistan, India and China are likely to go in for a joint economic project with Afghanistan. "The two countries should regard each other as a positive factor in the balance of global power and take each other as partners for realizing the dream of development".

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