India, China discuss ways to maintain bilateral ties momentum

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Johannesburg, June 4 (IANS) A little over a month after Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held an informal summit in China, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi met on the sidelines of the BRICS Foreign Ministers meeting here on Monday and discussed ways to maintain momentum in bilateral ties.

Describing the meeting as “continuing multifaceted engagement between two large economies”, Indian External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted: “Both leaders discussed ways to maintain the momentum in bilateral and multilateral cooperation.”

Modi and Xi held what Sushma Swaraj described as an unprecedented meeting on April 27-28 at the invitation of the Chinese leader in China’s Wuhan, where they pledged to keep the India-China border quiet and personally guide their respective armies to avert Doklam-like military stand-off in future.

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India and China went to war in 1962 over their border and still carry the baggage of 3,500 km long disputed boundary.

The two Asian giants almost came to blows in 2017 when their armies faced off each other in Doklam on the India-Bhutan-China international trijunction over building of a border road by the Chinese.

In her annual press conference in New Delhi last month, Sushma Swaraj said she and Wang had decided that they would not confine their leaders to listed agenda.

“There were three reasons for this – strong bilateral ties, global issues and mutual trust,” she said.

“President Xi told our Prime Minister to call him directly over phone for any issue.”

In her press conference, Sushma Swaraj also said that status quo is being maintained at Doklam.

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Earlier on Monday, Sushma Swaraj and Wang took part in the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China South Africa) Foreign Ministers meeting in which the Indian leader called for joint action by the grouping against money laundering and terrorist-financing.

–IANS

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