“Chennai Connect Starts New Chapter In Our Ties": PM Modi At Meet With Xi

“Chennai Connect Starts New Chapter In Our Ties": PM Modi At Meet With Xi

Oct. 12, 2019, 1:55 p.m.

India and China agreed that they need to work together to fight "radicalization and terrorism as common challenges", the government said on Friday.

India and China have decided to start a new chapter in their cooperation with the "Chennai Connect", Prime Minister Narendra Modi said today after holding a second round of informal talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Since Friday evening, PM Modi and Xi spent around five-and-half hours in one-on-one talks. The two leaders on Friday bonded over a tour of the temples of Mahabalipuram, now known as Mamallapuram, followed by cultural programs and dinner that went well beyond the scheduled time.

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"Yesterday, Prime Minister, as you said, you and I had engaged in candid conversations like friends, heart to heart discussions on bilateral relations," Xi said during today's delegation-level talks. On Friday, India and China agreed that they need to work together to fight "radicalization and terrorism as common challenges", the government said.

Top 10 updates on the PM Modi-Xi Jinping meet

"The Wuhan spirit had given new momentum and trust to our ties. A new era of cooperation will begin today through the 'Chennai Connect'," PM Modi said at the delegation-level talks between the two countries. PM Modi and Xi held a comprehensive one-on-one meeting at the "Machan" at Taj Fisherman's Cove Resort and Spa before the delegation talks The two leaders took a stroll along the beachfront and were seen having an engaging discussion.

PM Modi and Xi traveled together to the meeting place in the resort in a golf cart. On Friday evening, the two leaders, helped by two interpreters, touched upon a range of issues, including trade deficit, over sumptuous local Tamil delicacies, officials said. "The discussion stressed over 150 minutes and it was well beyond the planned time for conversation. The discussions were very open and cordial. This was quality time that the two leaders spent together one-on-one," Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said in a late evening press conference.

"We are really overwhelmed by your hospitality. Me and my colleagues have felt that very strongly. This will be a memorable experience for me and us," Xi Jinping said today.

On Friday evening, PM Modi, dressed in a Tamil attire of veshti, white shirt, and an angavasthram, took Xi for a guided tour of the famous world heritage sites of Arjuna's Penance, Krishna's Butterball, the Pancha Ratha and Shore Temple in the ancient temple town, kicking off the second informal summit between the two leaders. During PM Modi's visit to Wuhan last April, President Xi had given him a personal tour of the Hubei Provincial Museum.

Foreign Ministry Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar described the engagement between PM Modi and Xi on the first day of the informal summit as "highly productive".

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During Friday's talks, Xi Jinping urged both the countries to take the 70th anniversary of China-India diplomatic relations next year as an opportunity for broader and deeper cultural and people-to-people exchanges, China's state media Xinhua News Agency reported. The Chinese President also called on the two countries to jointly push forward dialogue and exchanges among different civilizations, so as to "inject more lasting driving force into the development of bilateral ties and continue to produce new glory for Asian civilizations", Xinhua reported.

Xi Jinping landed in Chennai on Friday afternoon in an Air China Boeing 747 aircraft to a red carpet welcome. He was received by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister EK Palaniswami, Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Speaker of the Tamil Nadu Assembly P Dhanapal and the Indian ambassador to China Vikram Misri. A brief cultural ceremony was organized to honor the Chinese leader.

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The first informal summit between PM Modi and Xi Jinping took place Wuhan, a picturesque Chinese lake city, months after a 73-day face-off between the armies of the two countries in Doklam last year.

Xi Jinping's visit comes after the two sides exchanged sharp words over Kashmir following Xi's meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan three days ago. On Wednesday, Beijing said Xi Jinping had assured support to Pakistan on issues related to its "core interests". State-owned Xinhua News Agency also quoted him as saying that although the "right and wrong" of the situation were clear, India and Pakistan should resolve the situation through peaceful dialogue. A China-Pakistan joint statement said Jammu and Kashmir should be "properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements."

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In its response, India said, "India's position has been consistent and clear that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. China is well aware of our position. It is not for other countries to comment on the internal affairs of India". The government has also maintained that the move in Jammu and Kashmir and making Ladakh a union territory is an internal matter.

Source: NDTV

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