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‘Chennai Connect’ marks a new era in India-China cooperation: PM Modi

a chinaAll National News 

Chinese President Xi Jinping marked a new era in ties between the two countries. The PM said this in his opening remarks as two leaders resumed their one-on-one talks on the second day of the summit in Tamil Nadu’s Mamallapuram.

The talks are to be followed up by delegation-level interaction with their aides and later lunch, which is expected to provide yet another opportunity for a one-on-one conversation before Xi flies to Nepal. The two leaders met at the Fisherman’s Cove, a luxury beachside resort overlooking the Bay of Bengal.

Earlier, Modi received Xi when he drove in a motorcade from his hotel in Chennai to the Fisherman’s Cove. They then drove in golf carts to the venue of their discussions, located a short distance from the beach.

PM Modi said Chennai contact is a new era in Indo china cooperation

On Friday, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters that the two leaders held “open and cordial” discussions over dinner that stretched for two-and-a-half hours, almost double the scheduled duration. “This was a quality time that the two leaders spent together one on one.”

The two leaders discussed their respective national visions and governance priorities, and Xi said he was looking forward to working closely with Modi “on all issues”, according to Gokhale.

Among the issues discussed trade-related matters, India’s trade deficit, and the threat posed by radicalization and terrorism.

Both leaders said these were large countries, and that radicalization was a matter of concern to both.

Terrorism did not affect the fabric of our multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious societies.”

That the private dinner that capped the first day of the second informal summit lasted more than double the scheduled duration a sign that both sides making efforts to work out differences.

Also, including over China’s strong support to Pakistan on the Kashmir issue, that recently strained ties.

Even before the dinner, Modi and Xi had a conversation, with only their translators present. However, at Pancha Ratha, a monument with five chariots hewn out of the solid rock, that lasted almost 15 minutes. They continued their conversation as they strolled near the Shore Temple, the last of the monuments they visited at Mamallapuram.

Xi traveled to India after hosting Pakistan PM Imran Khan, whom he had told China closely following the Kashmir issue. However, Beijing would back Islamabad on protecting its core interests.

New Delhi shot back by saying that China knew of India’s position. That Kashmir is an integral part of the country. However, India didn’t expect other countries to comment on its internal affairs.

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