China welcomes the import of “high-quality” goods from India and the two countries must add “new growth points” in sectors including medicine and infrastructure construction, President Xi Jinping told Prime Minister Narendra Modi during a meeting in Brazil.
Modi and Xi held talks on the sidelines of the 11th BRICS Summit on Wednesday in the Brazilian capital city of Brasilia. The two leaders were meeting a month after their second informal summit held in Chennai in October.
“China welcomes India’s active increase in exports of high-quality goods to China. The two sides should expand the scale of two-way trade and investment and create new growth points in production capacity, medicine, information technology and infrastructure construction,” Xi said.
The Chinese foreign ministry released a statement on the meeting in Beijing on Thursday morning.
The meeting took place in the backdrop of India not joining the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) over unresolved “core concerns”, with New Delhi saying the proposed deal would have an adverse impact on the livelihoods of all Indians.
The last two meetings between the leaders, in fact, have taken place amid new strains in bilateral ties over the Kashmir issue.
Expectedly then, the focus of Wednesday’s talks remained on strengthening trade between the two countries.
India participated in the second China International Import Expo (CIIE) as a main guest of honour last week, Xi said, noting that he was told that India was the country with the largest increase in transaction volume at the expo compared with last year.
Figures for the business done by the Indian pavilion at the Shanghai CIIE were not immediately available but officials said President Xi himself was one of the visitors and it had created a buzz.
Trade between India and China is expanding but remains tilted heavily in favour of Beijing with the deficit hovering around the $50 billion.
On the state of bilateral ties, Xi stressed that he is “willing to maintain close communication with Modi to jointly steer the direction of China-India relations, increase political mutual trust, properly manage differences and expand practical cooperation so as to guide a better and more stable development of bilateral ties”.
Xi said: “I (recently) held a successful meeting with you in Chennai and had good in-depth communication on the international and regional situation and major issues in bilateral relations”.
“The relevant departments of the two countries are stepping up efforts to implement the consensus reached by us and extend and expand the positive effects of the Chennai meeting”.
The Chinese President said he hopes China-India ties will achieve new and greater development in 2020, adding that he is looking forward to meeting with Modi again in China in the new year.
The Chinese foreign ministry statement quoted Modi as telling Xi that the trust and the friendship between them have been strengthened and many important consensuses reached by them are being implemented.
“India congratulates China on the success of the second CIIE,” Modi said, stressing that the country is ready to constantly expand bilateral trade and investment with China and enhance their cooperation in energy and other fields.
Modi said that India is ready to work with China to make the activities celebrating the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic ties and the China-India year of cultural and people-to-people exchanges a success.
Earlier, the Indian Prime Minister’s Office had tweeted, saying “Fruitful meeting between PM Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping on the sidelines on the BRICS Summit in Brazil. Trade and investment were among the key issues both leaders talked about.”
“I am glad to meet you once again. When I look back, we had met for the first time in Brazil itself… and our journey began. This journey of unknown people has today turned into a close friendship,” the Indian external affairs ministry quoted Modi as telling Xi.
“Since then, we have met at many forums, bilaterals; you visited my home state, took me to your village came to receive me outside Beijing in Wuhan… It is such a significant thing that within the five years, there have been so much trust and friendly relations,” Modi said.
Modi said there was a “new direction and new energy” in bilateral ties after the two leaders’ second informal summit in Chennai.