PM Modi discusses border issue with Chinese prez Xi Jinping, India says talks ‘substantive’
Sutirtho Patranobis, Hindustan Times |May 14, 2015
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday discussed the border question and the issue of terrorism with Chinese president Xi Jinping at the summit-level talks later described by officials as “substantive.”
In a meeting which lasted 90 minutes, both leaders discussed “boundary issue, peace and tranquility as well as ways to address trade imbalance.” foreign secretary S Jaishankar told reporters after the meeting.
He said the meeting was held in a “comfortable” atmosphere with Xi breaking protocol and welcoming a foreign leader outside Beijing for the first time.
The two leaders attempted to build on the “chemistry” they shared when they met in India last September, Jaishankar said adding that the focus was on increasing “mutual trust” between the two countries.
The issue of CCIT or the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism was brought up by India.
“Terrorism naturally came up because of today’s incident in Kabul…there was a reference to that and reference to the attack in Karachi and the need to strengthen counter-terrorism cooperation between India and China,” the foreign secretary said.
Economic issues were also the agenda, with the two leaders discussing trade imbalance and the investment climate and Xi bringing up the “miracle of Gujarat under Modi.”
Later, Modi and Xi visited the Wild Goose Pagoda, a Buddhist place of worship built during the 7th century AD. One of the pagoda’s many functions was to hold sutras and figurines of the Buddha that were brought to China from India by Buddhist traveller Hieun Tsang.
Visit to Terracotta Warriors Museum
Earlier in the day Modi began his official engagements with a visit to the famous Terracotta Warriors Museum, while the Indian media contingent accompanying him was stranded outside.
Modi spent an hour going around the museum in Xi’an which has a large collection of sculptures depicting the armies of Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China.
In the visitors book, Modi wrote that he was “deeply impressed” by the extraordinary care with which the museum has been preserved.
Dozens of reporters and camerapersons who followed him from New Delhi were not allowed inside the museum by Chinese officials.
The journalists complained that they were rudely told by officials that they did not have the requisite permission to follow he Prime Minister inside the museum.
The interpreter accompanying them said there was “total lack of communication” between the ministry of external affairs(MEA), the Indian embassy and the Chinese officials.
Indian officials , however, put the blame entirely on the Chinese side and said they would take it up with Beijing.