Mamallapuram (Chennai)/New Delhi: In a letdown for Pakistan, Chinese President Xi Jinping did not raise the Kashmir issue during his talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi here today, even as both leaders agreed on the need to deal with challenges of terrorism and radicalisation.
Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, while briefing the media on the discussions between Modi and Xi since last evening, said the two leaders talked about a host of issues aimed at taking the bilateral relations forward.
Xi, who arrived here yesterday afternoon, had about 6 hours of one-on-one conversation with Modi and delegation level talks during the ‘Informal Summit’.
The nagging issue of trade, investment and services was also discussed and the two sides decided to set up a new mechanism at an elevated level to resolve these.
From the Indian side, Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will lead the mechanism while from the Chinese side, it will be headed by Vice Premier, Hu Chunhua, Gokhale said.
While replying to questions, the Foreign Secretary said, “Kashmir issue was not raised or even discussed. Our stand is otherwise publicly stated that it is our internal matter.”
This would certainly be a letdown for Pakistan which has been urging China to play a role on the issue of Jammu and Kashmir, particularly ever since the special status of the state was revoked.
At the same time, Gokhale said the two leaders agreed that it was important to deal with the challenges of terrorism and radicalisation in an increasingly complex world.
On border question, the two leaders directed the Special Representatives to continue discussions, Gokhale said.
The Foreign Secretary said there was new focus on people-to-people relations and it was decided that public of both countries must be brought in the relationship.
The Chinese President spoke of greater facilitation for ‘yatri’s going to the Mansarovar Yatra and Prime Minister suggested a number of ideas on the connection between state of Tamil Nadu and the Fujian province of China.
Xi invited Modi to China for the next informal summit and the Prime Minister accepted the invitation. Dates will be worked out later, he said.