New era of Sino-India cooperation to begin with ‘Chennai connect’: Modi

A new era of cooperation will start between India and China on Saturday with the “Chennai connect”, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said after around five-and-half hours of one-on-one talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping spread over two days in this ancient coastal town as part of the second informal summit.

Xi said their “candid”, “heart-to-heart” discussions on bilateral relations were “in-depth” and “good”, noting that maintaining and expanding the Sino-India relations is a firm policy of his government.

The opening remarks by the two leaders at the delegation-level talks are seen as a clear reflection of attempts to recalibrate ties that were strained following India’s decision to withdraw special status of Jammu and Kashmir.

“The Wuhan spirit gave a new momentum and trust to our relations. Today, our Chennai Connect will lead to the start of a new era of cooperation between the two countries,” Modi said, referring to the outcome of the first informal summit between the two leaders at Chinese city of Wuhan in April last year.

Modi said the Wuhan summit led to increased stability and fresh momentum in Sino-India relations as strategic communication increased between the two sides.

We had decided that we will prudently manage our differences, and not allow them to become disputes, we will remain sensitive about each other’s concerns and that our relations will lead to peace and stability across the world.

“These are our big achievements and these will inspire us to do more in future, Modi said.

The PM also said India and China were global economic powers during most of the last 2000 years and were returning to stage gradually.

For most of the last 2,000 years, India and China were among the world’s leading economic powers. Now in this century, we are together getting back to that status

On his part, Xi said the first informal summit continues to produce visible progress.

We have deeper strategic communication, more effective practical cooperation, more diverse people-to-people and cultural exchanges and we have closer cooperation on multilateral occasions.

“What has happened has proved that we made the right decision to have this kind of informal summit and we can well continue with this form of meeting, the Chinese leader said.

Xi said: Yesterday and early today, Mr Prime Minister, as you said, you and I have engaged in candid discussions as friends. In this heart-to-heart discussions on bilateral relations, we’ve had really in-depth engagements and good discussions.

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