Modi , XI reach broad accord on trade, terror

Modi , XI reach broad accord on trade, terror

S Murari

Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in their two days of talks over the weekend at Mamallapuram reached a broad accord on how to bring down trade deficit between the two countries. The two countries also agreed to jointly combat terrorism, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told media in New Delhi on Saturday.

He said the issue of terror was taken up at the delegation level as well as at the one on one level. “There was acknowledging that the both countries are very complex and diverse and radacalisation is a matter of concern to both”.

The two sides agreed that they should work together so that radacalisation and terrorism did not “our multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious societies”. Replying to a volley of questions on Kashmir in which China had taken a pro-Pakistani stand at the UN, Gokhale said the issue was not discussed except that President Xi Jinping mentioned the visit of Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan to China early this month. He said India’s stand was well known that Kashmir was an internal matter.

The focus of the second summit since Wuhan was to deepen understanding between the two countries and “not peg the ties on one or two issues like border dispute”.

The Prime Minister his opening remarks also stressed this point when he said "differences are not disputes".

The Foreign Secretary was more forthcoming on the issue of trade. He said President Xi understood India’s concern over trade deficit. On, his suggestion a high-level mechanism was being set up, to be headed by Finance Minister Nirmala Sitaraman and Chinese Vice Premier, to address the issue.

India also wanted to go beyond trade and goods and extend cooperation to service sector. For its part, China sought greater defence cooperation, including in production of defence items. Xi Jinping, he said, had invited Defence Minister Rajnath Singh to China.

The two sides also decided to increase people to people co-operation, using the 70th anniversary of Chinese revolution and 75th anniversary of India’s independence as occasions. On card was a proposal for China to open a consular office at Chennai.

President Xi thanked the Government of Tamil Nadu for a rousing welcome accorded to him. He said he was overwhelmed by the warmth shown the Government and people of Tamil Nadu. He said President Xi had invited Prime Minister Narendra Modi to China where the third informal summit is scheduled to take place early next year.

After the talks ended, Modi hosted a lunch for Xi at the beach resort.

President Xi  later left on the dot at 1.30 p.m. for Kathmandu. He was seen off by  the Tamil Nadu Governor, Chief Minister and others