Modi and Xi Jinping at Bishkek

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There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning from failure. – Colin Powell


Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Thursday agreed to expedite the dialogue on the India-China boundary issue for securing a “fair” solution. The two leaders met in Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, where they will participate in the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO). The two leaders have asked the special representatives to meet and carry forward the discussion and have instructed them to expedite the discussion in this regard for achieving a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution. Xi stressed that the two sides should adhere to the basic judgment that China and India are the opportunities for development and do not pose a threat to each other. The two leaders discussed the status of the bilateral relationship since the Wuhan summit of April 2018, which came in the backdrop of tension following the 73-day Doklam standoff. Thursday’s meeting was the first Modi held with the Chinese President since he won a landslide victory in the general election in May. Bishkek showed the two leaders were looking beyond the immediate and the tactical. Modi is expected to meet Xi in Osaka during the G20 Summit and also during the BRICS Summit. These meetings are being interpreted as preparatory rounds for Xi’s visit to India.

India is one of many countries that have voiced concerns about the effect of the United States’ protectionist policies on world trade, raising expectations that New Delhi would use the Bishkek meeting to express its position. The dialogue between the two senior leaders went in that direction. As Modi returns to power for another five years, global leaders are looking to India to take on a larger burden of responsibility in the world, acting as a security buffer in the Indo-Pacific, opening its markets and responding to climate change. There is no denying that China and India are the only two emerging markets with a population of one billion in the world, both of which are at an important stage of rapid development. Working together, China and India can not only boost each other’s development, but also contribute to peace, stability and prosperity of Asia and the world at large.

The April 27-28, 2018  Wuhan summit between Modi and Xi was largely credited to have turned around the bilateral relations soured by the 73-day Doklam stand-off, triggered by Chinese troops attempts to build a road close to Indian border in an area also claimed by Bhutan in 2017. After the Wuhan summit, both the countries stepped up efforts to improve relations on different spheres including the military-to-military ties. The fact is that Modi is willing to go the extra mile and that signals that New Delhi wants to have a cordial ties with Beijing. If China agrees to a summit at Varanasi, it would be the icing on the cake, apart from being a global photo opportunity.

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