Published: Sat, October 12, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Xi arrives in India for informal meeting with Modi

Xi arrives in India for informal meeting with Modi

After around five-and-half hours of one-on-one talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping in multiple sessions spread over two days, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday said a new era of cooperation will begin on Saturday in Sino-India ties through the "Chennai connect".

He said that both Modi and Xi are "very strong and very popular leaders", and they are fully capable of shaping the future of the bilateral relationship in a constructive and mutually beneficial direction.

The buildup to the summit has been dominated by India's move in August to end the autonomous status of Jammu and Kashmir state. The decision will also make the area's Ladakh region - part of which is claimed by Beijing - a separate Indian administrative territory. It asked India and Pakistan to resolve the matter peacefully.

Harsh Pant, an global relations professor at King's College London, told AFP that China's backing of Pakistan "has left a very bad taste in India's mouth".

But at talks on Friday, the leaders acknowledged the common fight against "terrorism", Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said.

China made no immediate comment on the summit. Accompanied by Modi, Xi watched Bharatanatyam and other Indian classical dances, which represent ancient Indian civilisation. This was seen as a result of their unsettled boundary dispute dating back to the 1962 war between India and China. Today's meeting between Xi and Modi will take forward the spirit of the first day of the informal summit during which personal rapport between the two leaders become evident.

"It is anticipated that this unilateral liberalisation of e-TV for Chinese nationals will further enhance people-to-people exchanges between the two countries and encourage more Chinese tourists to choose India as a destination for tourism purposes", the Indian embassy in Beijing said in a press release.

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But a slew of state and organizations sued, saying the definition of public charge discriminated against the poor and others. The test already included use of cash benefits , Supplemental Security Income, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families.

The Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader and long an aggravation for China, has been allowed to live in and travel the world from his base at Dharamsala in northern India since 1959.

Indian police detained Tibetan students who protested Xi's visit.

On commerce India and China - both facing a protectionist America - want greater access to each other's markets, with India now importing from China far more than it exports there.

"One of the important understandings that the two leaders reached therefore was that a new mechanism will be established to discuss trade, investment and services".

There was also a "brief discussion" on the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreement that countries of South east Asia, India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand are negotiating and are expected to sign next month, Gokhale said.

China in turn wants India to ignore Western security concerns on telecoms giant Huawei - already a big player in the Indian mobile sector - so that it can be a key part of India's transformation to 5G communications. "We have a made a wise decision on informal summits".

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