Chinese President Xi Jinping has agreed to create the "right conditions" to harness the true potential of ties with India after Prime Minister Narendra Modi emphasised the need for respecting each other's "interests and concerns, including in the shared neighbourhood".
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, while giving details of last week's meeting in Brazil, told Parliament today that Modi spoke about the "enormous opportunities" that exist to "work together not only to reinforce each other's development, but also to contribute to peace, stability and progress in Asia and the world".
Modi "stressed the importance of strengthening mutual trust and confidence, maintaining peace and tranquility on the border and respecting each other's interests and concerns, including in our shared neighbourhood, for realising the full potential of our relationship," she said in a suo motu statement made in both Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha. She did not elaborate on the "interests and concerns" in the "shared neighbourhood", but India has been worried over Chinese efforts to expand its influence to countries like Bhutan, Sri Lanka and Maldives.
Modi underlined to Xi that increased people-to-people contacts between the two ancient civilisations could greatly strengthen the bilateral relationship, Swaraj said while giving details of the first meeting between the two leaders that took place in Fortelaza. Xi "shared our views on creating the right conditions and building a higher degree of engagement and familiarity between the two countries to harness the true potential of the India-China relationship," the External Affairs Minister said.
The Chinese President said he looked forward to his planned visit to India during the year and invited Modi to visit China, Swaraj said, adding the Prime Minister intends to do so at an early convenient date.