India China Summit 2019


I had to search quite hard to find details of last weekend’s meeting between the leaders of the two most populated countries and fastest growing economies on the planet, China and India, and was struck by the peaceful and respectful dialogue between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi, in stark contrast to some of the fierce words and threats being exchanged in other parts of the world.

Over seven hours in one-on-one talks in the coastal town of Mamallapuram, about 50km away from Chennai, the leaders agreed to “set up a mechanism to boost economic ties and tackle India’s trade deficit with China” and, more importantly, “pledging to overcome trade differences and appreciate ‘each other’s autonomous foreign policies’, signalling an effort to focus on mutual interests rather than on long-standing contentious issues”.

According to local media, “Modi remarked that both sides had agreed to be “sensitive” to each other’s concerns and not let differences escalate into disputes, while Xi called for communication to “alleviate suspicions” and for India and China to enhance strategic mutual trust”. Perhaps they were both trying to send a message to other countries?

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