Chinese President Xi Jinping Monday met India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in Beijing, and expressed confidence in the growth of bilateral relations during the year. Xi met Sushma in the Great Hall of the People, where the two sides agreed to focus on a positive bilateral agenda for the year.
Xi observed that bilateral ties had achieved a turnaround and entered a “new phase” of partnership after his visit to India in September last year.
“Since my visit to India, the relations between our two countries have entered a new phase. The positive side of China-India relations has been growing,” Xi said.
He also said major steps were being taken to implement the agreements inked during his India visit. “I have full confidence on the future of China and India relations. I believe the good process will be achieved in the growth of bilateral relations.” Xi also recalled his visit to Ahmedabad where he was hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the Sabarmati riverfront.
“I still cherish the fresh memories in my mind about the gracious hospitality extended to me by the government and people and particularly I cherish the fond memories of my trip to Prime Minister Modi’s hometown in Gujarat state,” he said.
Xi mentioned in particular the special gesture shown by Modi in personally accompanying him to the Sabarmati ashram and also walking together with him along the riverfront. Xi also conveyed his regards and greetings to President Pranab Mukherjee and Modi. Swaraj Swaraj conveyed Modi’s wishes on the occasion of the upcoming Lunar Year of the Sheep, the Chinese New Year.
The external affairs minister’s Beijing visit comes days after the visit of US President Barack Obama to India that saw both sides announce a joint strategic vision for Asia-Pacific and the Indian Ocean. Sushma Swaraj’s visit is also aimed to lay the ground work for Modi’s visit to China, set to take place in May. Sushma Swaraj Sunday launched the Second India-China Media Forum.
She also held talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on a range of issues including Modi’s upcoming visit. The minister also appreciated China’s decision to open an additional pilgrimage route for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra through Nathula. (IANS)