Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (R) meets with State Councilor Yang Jiechi in New Delhi March 24, 2015. [Photo/Xinhua]
India’s PM conveys positive message as two nations vow to press ahead with border talks
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi placed his upcoming visit to China in a global context, seeking to send a positive message to the world on the countries’ mutual commitment to strengthening cooperation.
Modi spoke of his visit during a meeting on March 24 with State Councilor Yang Jiechi, who wrapped up the 18th round of boundary talks between China and India in New Delhi, the first since Modi swept to power in May.
The two-day talks in the decades long dispute saw the governments of both countries stress their common desire to press ahead with further negotiations.
Modi told Yang that he would like to discuss with Chinese leaders how to further develop the relationship and this would send a positive message to the international community.
Relations are moving on a fast track, and in the correct direction, which will not only benefit the two countries and their people, but also exert a positive influence on Asia and the whole world, he said.
Yang said China is willing to work with India to deepen mutual trust and expand fields of cooperation.
A closer partnership between the two biggest developing countries will help enhance their own development and contribute to promoting peace, stability and development of the region and the world, he said.
Jiang Jingkui, an expert on South Asian studies at Peking University, said Modi put his visit to China in a global context and to deliver a goodwill message to Beijing and to the world: that India will independently develop its relations with China, regardless of pressure from elsewhere.
Economic development is high on Modi’s agenda. He won election in a landslide last year on a wave of optimism about his ability to revitalize Asia’s third-biggest economy. China, India’s top trading partner, could play a key role in the process, he said.
Jiang cited as a prime example India’s participation in the China-backed Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank, which aims to aid development across Asia.
The border issue was left as the most prominent problem in the relationship, but both countries share a willingness, and have established various channels, to prevent it from escalating, Jiang said.
China and India share a 2,000-km-long border that has never been formally delineated. The countries began discussing border issues in the 1980s.
Zhou Gang, the former Chinese ambassador to India, said the Sino-Indian relationship is a mature one that allows the two sides to foster ever growing cooperation and meaningfully address the border issues.
Peace in the border region is conducive to regional stability and cooperation between the two emerging economies, particularly in areas such as rail transportation and industrial parks, which will help to boost sluggish global growth, Zhou said.