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India, China do not pose 'threats' to each other: Xi tells Modi in Bishkek

Xi called on the two countries to deepen mutual trust and focus on cooperation.

Narendra Modi
Narendra Modi

India and China "do not pose threats" to each other, Chinese President Xi Jinping told Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday as he called for closer ties between the two sides.

Xi and Modi met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit in the Kyrgyz capital of Bishkek--their first interaction after India's re-election last month.

"China is ready to work with India to continuously advance the closer development partnership between the two countries," Xi said, according to statement released by the Chinese foreign ministry in Beijing.

"China and India offer to each other chances for development, and do not pose each other threats," said Xi, state-run Xinhua news agency reported, citing the statement.

Xi called on the two countries to deepen mutual trust and focus on cooperation.

He said China and India are the only two emerging markets with a population of one billion in the world, both of which are at an important stage of rapid development.

Working together, China and India will not only boost each other's development, but also contribute to peace, stability and prosperity of Asia and the world at large, he said.

Xi said both the countries should deepen mutual trust, focus on cooperation and properly handle differences, so as to make China-India relations a more positive asset and energy for the development of the two countries, the statement said.

On the boundary issue, Xi said: "We need to make good use of the meeting of the Special Representatives on the boundary issue and other mechanisms, strengthen Confidence-Building Measures (CBMs) and maintain stability at the border areas".

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi are the designated Special Representatives of the boundary dispute.

So far, the two countries have held 21 rounds of talks to resolve differences over the 3488-km long Line Actual Control (LAC).

"We need to expand cooperation channels, carry out cooperation in investment, production capacity and tourism, expand common interests, and jointly promote regional connectivity, including the development of the Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Economic Corridor (BCIM) so as to achieve better cooperation and common development," he said.

The mention of BCIM, which is part of China's multibillion dollar Belt and Road Initiative is regarded significant as it has not yet taken off unlike the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and other corridors of the initiative.