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Modi Raises India's Concern Over China-Pakistan Economic Corridor With Xi

China willing to work with India to maintain their 'hard-won sound' ties and further boost bilateral cooperation

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India on Sunday raised its concern with China over the CPEC which runs through PoK, and terrorism "emanating from the region" as Prime Minister Narendra Modi told Chinese President Xi Jinping the two countries need to be "sensitive" to each other's strategic interests.

Asserting that fight against terror should not be motivated by "political considerations", Modi said it is of "paramount importance that we respect each other's aspirations, concerns and strategic interests" to ensure durable bilateral ties.

In the bilateral meeting with Xi in Hangzhou ahead of the G20 summit, Modi raised India's concerns over the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) being laid through PoK.

Besides a host of energy-related projects, the CPEC consists of rail, road and pipelines to ferry oil and gas from Gwadar port to Kashghar in Xinjiang through PoK.

Replying to a question whether the terrorism emanating from the region where the CPEC is being laid through has been discussed, External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup told reporters the issue has been raised during the meeting.

Modi said both India and China need to be "sensitive" to each other's strategic interests and called for specific actions to "prevent growth of negative perception".

"As a matter of principle, both countries would have to be sensitive to each other's strategic interests," Swarup said while touching upon broad themes that Modi stressed upon during his nearly 30-minute bilateral with Xi, their eighth meeting.

"In order to promote positive convergence, we would also need to prevent growth of negative perception. For this, the specific actions by both countries would play the major role," he said.

In particular, Modi highlighted that "we have succeeded in maintaining peace and tranquility on the border", he added.

Condemning the recent suicide bomb attack on the Chinese Embassy in Bishkek, capital of Kyrgyzstan, in his opening remarks, Modi said it is yet another proof of the continuing scourge of terrorism.

"The Prime Minister reiterated that our response to terror must not be motivated by political considerations," Swarup said.

On his part, Xi said China is willing to work with India to maintain their "hard-won sound" ties and further boost bilateral cooperation.

"China is willing to work with India to maintain their hard-won sound relations and further advance their cooperation", state-run Chinese Xinhua news agency quoted Xi as saying.

About the bilateral relations, which experienced turbulence due to differences over a raft of issues, Modi said in order to make the Asian century a reality, the countries of the continent would have to take responsibility.

The meeting came amid differences over including listing of Pakistan-based terrorist organisations in the UN, China stalling India's membership at the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the CPEC being built through PoK.

Nuclear Suppliers Group

Asked whether Prime Minister Modi raised the issue of China blocking India's bid for the membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) during the bilateral, Swarup declined to get into the "nitty-gritty" of the issues discussed.

"I am not going into the nitty-gritty of each and everything that was discussed. Everything is not meant for public consumption. There are certain things (which) need to remain between the two governments," he said.

On yet another question on the NSG issue, he said: "I will not go into the specifics, if you read between the lines, you pretty much understand when you we talk about strategic interests, concerns and aspirations, it is not as if China is not unaware of our strategic interests, aspirations and concerns or we are unaware of their concerns. So, it is something both sides are well aware.

"This was a meeting at summit level between the two. They are meant to provide high-level guidance and direction to overall relations."

Citing that India has not signed the Nuclear Non- Proliferation Treaty (NPT), China had opposed its bid to join the elite 48-member bloc during NSG's meeting in Seoul in June.

Modi said he always had a strategic vision for India- China relations. The India-China partnership is important not only for the two countries but for the entire region and the world.

"India has worked to make progress in the closer, developmental partnership with China.

"Cultural and people-to-people ties have also been increasing," Swarup said.

Modi said he always had a strategic vision for India- China relations. The India-China partnership is important not only for the two countries but for the entire region and the world.

Asked to comment on the Chinese state-media quoting Xi as telling Modi that China is willing to maintain "hard-won sound" relations with India, Swarup said "it would not be appropriate for me to characterise President Xi's remarks.

"After all we are in his country and it is for the Chinese side to amplify and clarify whatever he said. Not appropriate for me to characterise what the other side said," he said.

"In the context of India and China, he said that our peoples also have the expectation that we make every possible effort to fulfil their dreams of progress, development and prosperity," Swarup said.

The Prime Minister is here to attend the two-day G20 Summit.

Ahead of the 8th BRICS Summit next month, Modi also extended a personal invitation to Xi to come to Goa which Xi said he was very happy to accept.


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