Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday agreed to set up a new mechanism for issues relating to trade and investment and felt the two countries should cooperate on important regional and global issues.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi agreed to set up a new mechanism to discuss trade during two days of informal talks in southern India that were aimed at re-calibrating strained ties between the nations.
India raised its concerns about the China-led Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Indian foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters Saturday in the seaside town of Mamallapuram. The contentious issues of China’s Huawei 5G network and India’s decision to revoke the special autonomous status of Kashmir were not discussed, Gokhale said.
The talks between the leaders of the world’s two most populous countries came amid border disputes and trade tensions. China is India’s second-largest trading partner with current two-way trade of $87 billion, and the two sides have targeted $100 billion in trade by 2020.
Modi told Xi that “it is important that RCEP is balanced -- that a balance is maintained in trade in goods, trade in services and investments,” Gokhale said. Xi said China “is ready to take sincere action” on trade and “to discuss in a very concrete way how to reduce the trade deficit,” Gokhale said.
Chinese vice premier Hu Chunhua and Indian finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman will lead the new mechanism which seeks to smooth concerns in the trade relationship that’s currently skewed in China’s favor. The countries agreed on a partnership to create more jobs in manufacturing and will deepen defense communication, Gokhale said.