Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the second day of their Informal Summit at Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, on October 12, 2019.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on the second day of their Informal Summit at Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu, on October 12, 2019.

India, China to set up High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue mechanism

Mahabalipuram, October 12, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping today concluded a two-day informal summit during which they discussed all aspects of the bilateral relationship and decided, among other steps, to establish a High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue mechanism to deepen their economic cooperation and enhance the development partnership.
The dialogue mechanism will help achieve enhanced trade and economic relations as well as a better balance in the trade between the  two countries, a statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs at the end of the summit that was held against the backdrop of the magnificent temples and monuments of this historic seaside town, about 58 km from Chennai, in Tamil Nadu.
The statement said the two leaders agreed to encourage mutual investments in identified sectors through the development of a Manufacturing Partnership and tasked their officials to develop this idea at the first meeting of the High-Level Economic and Trade Dialogue.
According to it, the two leaders exchanged views on outstanding issues, including on the boundary question. 
"They have welcomed the work of the Special Representatives and urged them to continue their efforts to arrive at a mutually-agreed framework for a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement based on Political Parameters and Guiding Principles that were agreed by the two sides in 2005. They reiterated their understanding that efforts will continue to be made to ensure peace and tranquility in the border areas, and that both sides will continue to work on additional Confidence Building Measures in pursuit of this objective," it said.
The statement said Modi and Xi had an "in-depth exchange of views in a friendly atmosphere on overarching, long-term and strategic issues of global and regional importance".
They also shared their respective approaches towards national development.
"They evaluated the direction of bilateral relations in a positive light and discussed how India-China bilateral interaction can be deepened to reflect the growing role of both countries on the global stage.
"Both Leaders shared the view that the international situation is witnessing significant readjustment. They were of the view that India and China share the common objective of working for a peaceful, secure and prosperous world in which all countries can pursue their development within a rules-based international order.
"They reiterated the consensus reached during the first Informal Summit in Wuhan, China in April 2018, that India and China are factors for stability in the current international landscape and that both sides will prudently manage their differences and not allow differences on any issue to become disputes," it said.
The statement said  the two leaders recognized that India and China had a common interest in preserving and advancing a rules-based and inclusive international order, including through reforms that reflect the new realities of the 21st Century. Both agreed that it is important to support and strengthen the rules-based multilateral trading system at a time when globally agreed trade practices and norms are being selectively questioned. India and China will continue to work together for open and inclusive trade arrangements that will benefit all countries, it said.
"Both Leaders also underscored the important efforts being made in their respective countries to address global developmental challenges, including climate change and the Sustainable Development Goals. They emphasized that their individual efforts in this regard would help the international community achieve the targets.
"Both Leaders are concerned that terrorism continues to pose a common threat. As countries that are large and diverse, they recognized the importance of continuing to make joint efforts to ensure that the international community strengthens the framework against training, financing and supporting terrorist groups throughout the world and on a non-discriminatory basis," the statement said.
"As important contemporary civilizations with great traditions, both Leaders deemed it important to enhance dialogue in order to foster cultural understanding between the two peoples. Both Leaders also agreed that, as major civilizations in history, they can work together to enhance greater dialogue and understanding between cultures and civilizations in other parts of the world.
"They shared the view that an open, inclusive, prosperous and stable environment in the region is important to ensure the prosperity and stability of the region. They also agreed on the importance of concluding negotiations for a mutually-beneficial and balanced Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.
"The two Leaders exchanged views on the age-old commercial linkages and people-to-people contacts between India and China in the past two millennia, including significant maritime contacts. In this regard the two leaders agreed on establishment of sister-state relations between Tamil Nadu and Fujian Province, exploring the possibility of establishing an academy to study links between Mahabalipuram and Fujian province on the lines of the experience between Ajanta and Dunhuang and conducting research on maritime links between China and India in view of our extensive contacts over the centuries.
"The two Leaders shared their mutual vision on goals for development of their respective economies. They agreed that the simultaneous development of India and China presents mutually-beneficial opportunities. The two sides will continue to adopt a positive, pragmatic and open attitude and to enhance appreciation of each other’s policies and actions in line with the general direction of their friendship and cooperation. In this regard, they also agreed to continue to enhance strategic communication on all matters of mutual interest, and to continue the momentum of high-level exchanges by making full use of dialogue mechanisms," the statement said.
The statement said Xi and Modi were of the view that the positive direction of ties had opened up possibilities for taking bilateral relations to greater heights. They agreed that this endeavor also required strong public support in both countries. 
In this context they decided to designate 2020 as Year of India-China Cultural and People to People Exchanges and agreed that the 70th anniversary of the establishment of India-China relations in 2020 will be fully utilized to deepen exchanges at all levels including between their respective legislatures, political parties, cultural and youth organizations and militaries. To celebrate the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations the two countries will organize 70 activities including a conference on a ship voyage that will trace the historical connect between the two civilizations.
Prime Minister Modi and President Xi also appraised the practice of Informal Summits in a positive light as providing an important opportunity to deepen dialogue and to promote mutual understanding at the Leaders’ level in line with the ‘Wuhan Spirit’ and the ‘Chennai Connect”. 
They agreed to continue this practice in the future. President Xi invited Prime Minister Modi to visit China for the 3rd Informal Summit. Prime Minister Modi has accepted the invitation.
President Xi had arrived in Chennai on Friday afternoon and later left for Mahabalipuram, a World Heritage Site, where he was received by Modi, who had arrived earlier in the day.
At Mahabalipuram, he went on a guided tour of three monuments -- Arjuna's Penance, Pancha Rathas and Shore Temple -- along with Modi on Friday.
After first interacting with each other while walking around some of the main monuments in this ancient town, the two leaders continued their exchange of views on deepening the India-China partnership while watching a breathtaking cultural performance put up by Kalakshetra at the Shore Temple.
They concluded a "highly productive day with a pleasant conversation over a long dinner," Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson said on micro-blogging site Twitter.
As it turned out, the conversation over dinner between the two leaders lasted for more than two and a half hours, way beyond what was scheduled.
This morning, Modi and Xi had a tete-e-tete for about an hour before going in for delegation-level talks, followed by lunch. 

(Our News Desk can be contacted at

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