New Delhi: With the continuing stand-off in Ladakh casting a shadow over the Sino-India talks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday raised “serious concerns” over the repeated incidents along the border and sought an early settlement of the boundary question.
Meeting visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping against the backdrop of Chinese army and civilian incursions, the Prime Minister made it plain to him that the agreement between the two countries on maintaining peace and tranquility on the border should be “strictly observed.”
After taking him on a guided tour of Ahmedabad’s landmarks on Wednesday, Mr. Modi sat with Mr. Xi for a summit meeting for nearly three hours — both restricted and delegation level talks — when it was decided that China would invest USD 20 billion in next five years.
But the discussions mainly appeared to have centred around the embarrassing border incidents that continued in the Chumar and Demchok sectors last night and this morning.
On Wednesday, Mr. Modi had raised the issue in Ahmedabad though the government had maintained that it was a “courtesy discussion.”
“I raised our serious concern over repeated incidents along the border. We agreed that peace and tranquility in the border region constitutes an essential foundation for the mutual trust and confidence and for realising the full potential of our relationship.
“This is an important understanding, which should be strictly observed. While our border related agreements and Confidence Building Measures have worked well, I also suggested that clarification of Line of Actual Control would greatly contribute to our efforts to maintain peace and tranquillity and requested President Xi to resume the stalled process of clarifying the LAC. We should also seek an early settlement of the boundary question,” Mr. Modi told the media in the presence of the Chinese President.
On his part, Mr. Xi sought to explain the border incidents saying, “since the border is yet to be demarcated, sometimes there might be certain incidents.”
But, he said, the two sides were fully capable of acting promptly to effectively manage the situation through various levels of border related mechanisms so that such incidents do not have a large impact on bilateral relations.
“China has the determination to work with India through friendly consultation to settle the boundary question at an early date,” Mr. Xi said.
12 agreements signed
After the talks on the second day of his three-day visit, 12 agreements were also signed on various issues including setting up two Chinese industrial parks in India and investments in the Railways.