Published On: Wed, Aug 30th, 2017

Ahead of Prime Minister Narendra Modi Visit for BRICS Summit, China Sees Huge Potential for Cooperation

BEIJING/NEW DELHI — China on Wednesday sought to cast its strained ties with India in a positive light ahead of a likely meeting next week between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi following their most serious military confrontation in decades.

The countries agreed this week to end a more than two-month-old stand-off on their disputed Himalayan border, just in time for the start on Sunday of a summit of the BRICS grouping of nations, which also includes Brazil, Russia and South Africa.

It was normal for the two neighbors to have differences, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told a news briefing.

“What’s important is that we put these problems in the appropriate place, and appropriately handle and control them in the spirit of mutual respect and based on the consensus of both countries’ leaders,” he said.

“There is huge potential for cooperation between China and India,” Wang added, without giving details.

Xi and Modi are expected to hold talks on the summit sidelines in the southeastern city of Xiamen, officials in New Delhi said.

That has raised hopes they will try and repair a relationship that has deteriorated as the two countries find their interests diverge – and often clash – while competing for influence across Asia.

BRICS 2017 india24x7news


Neither country should claim victory after the stand-off, said former Indian foreign secretary Nirupama Rao, an expert on relations with China.

“The forthcoming summit can provide an opportunity to begin that restoration process when the leaders of the two countries meet,” Rao said. “Diplomatic and not military manoeuvres must be the name of the game in this relationship.”

Hundreds of troops were deployed on the Doklam plateau, near the borders of India, its ally Bhutan, and China after New Delhi objected to China building a road through the mountainous area.

The quiet diplomacy that ultimately ended in de-escalation was based on a principle of stopping “differences becoming disputes” that Modi and Xi had agreed in Astana in June, an Indian official with knowledge of the matter told Reuters.

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