BFF-66 India’s Modi to meet China’s Xi for second talks in weeks

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BFF-66

INDIA-CHINA-DIPLOMACY-SCO

India’s Modi to meet China’s Xi for second talks in weeks

NEW DELHI, June 7, 2018 (BSS/AFP) – Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi
will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday just weeks after the pair
agreed to open a new chapter in their relationship following a tense border
standoff.

The leaders of the world’s two most populous nations will hold a bilateral
meeting in the Chinese city of Qingdao on the sidelines of the Shanghai
Cooperation Organisation summit, India’s foreign ministry said Thursday.

It follows a much anticipated face-to-face in late April when Xi and Modi
sought to mend ties after a period of hostility between the regional powers.

During that encounter, both agreed to maintain “peace and tranquility” at
their borders, without specifically mentioning their militaries coming
eyeball-to-eyeball in a disputed Himalayan area last year.

Both sides stood down and a major crisis was averted but the neighbours
have a long history of mistrust.

Modi used a major security speech in Singapore this month to call for all
countries to have “equal access” to shared maritime areas under international
law — comments seen as directed at China and its expansionism in the South
China Sea.

The US has put new emphasis on military ties with New Delhi and the rising
importance of the Indian Ocean as nations look to counter China’s inexorable
military rise.

China and Russia lead the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation security bloc
that will feature arch-rivals India and Pakistan as new members for the first
time.

The two-day gathering revolves around trade and security and China’s Belt
and Road infrastructure project is likely to feature on the agenda.

India has raised concerns about the initiative as a major section passes
through Pakistan-administered Kashmir, a disputed territory that New Delhi
claims is illegally occupied.

BSS/AFP/ARS/2003 hrs