BRICS Summit: Modi meets Xi, says there's new direction to India-China ties

Topics PM Modi | Xi Jinping | Trade deals

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping | File photo

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Wednesday met Chinese President Xi Jinping here and said there has been a "new direction and new energy" in bilateral ties after their second informal summit in Chennai as the two leaders discussed ways to further strengthen India-China relations, including on the trade front.

Modi, who is in Brazil for the 11th BRICS Summit which will focus on building mechanisms for counter-terrorism cooperation and strengthen India's ties with the world's five major economies, met Xi on the sidelines of the meeting, over a month after the two leaders held their second informal summit in India.

Prime Minister Modi told President Xi: "I am glad to meet you once again".

"When I look back, we had met for the first time in Brazil itself... our journey began. The journey of unknown people has today turned into a close friendship. We have since then met in many forums, bilaterals, you visited my home state, took me to your village, you came to receive me outside Beijing in Wuhan.... It is such a significant thing that within the five years, there have been so much trust and friendly relations.

"As you said and I believe that our meeting in Chennai gave our journey a new direction and new energy. Without any agenda, we talked about each other's issues, global situations... these have been very successful," Modi said.

The two leaders held talks on a wide range of bilateral issues.

They met for the second informal summit at Mamallapuram, a coastal town near Chennai, on October 11-12 and discussed a range of bilateral issues, vowing to jointly combat terrorism and radicalisation, and expand bilateral trade and investment.

The meeting between Modi and Xi in the Brazilian capital comes days after India decided not to join China-backed mega Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) over unresolved "core concerns", with India saying the proposed deal would have adverse impact on the lives and livelihoods of all Indians.

It also took place amidst renewed strain in ties between the two countries over the Kashmir issue. A joint statement issued after talks between President Xi and Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan last month said China is paying "close attention" to the situation in the Kashmir and that it should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter.

In its reaction, External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said India's consistent and clear position has been that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of the country and China is well aware of New Delhi's position.

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