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Rediff.com  » News » After 12 years, India, Russia, China hold trilateral meeting

After 12 years, India, Russia, China hold trilateral meeting

December 01, 2018 10:13 IST

Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday held a trilateral meeting, the second among the three countries after a gap of 12 years, on the sidelines of the G-20 summit here to discuss cooperation in various areas.

IMAGE: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin at a trilateral meeting. Photograph: Press Information Bureau

The Russia-India-China meeting came hours after Prime Minister Modi, his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe and US President Donald Trump held their first trilateral meeting on the margins of the summit.

"Deepening engagement with valued development partners. President Vladimir Putin, President Xi Jinping and PM @narendramodi participate in the RIC (Russia, India, China) trilateral in Buenos Aires. @KremlinRussia," the Prime Minister's Office tweeted.

 

"2nd Russia-India-China 'RIC' Trilateral Summit took place in Buenos Aires after a gap of 12 years. In a meeting characterised by warmth and positivity, leaders discussed cooperation and coordination in various areas which could contribute to global peace and stability," External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

Earlier in the day, India, Japan and the US discussed major issues of global and multilateral interests in their first trilateral meeting, which assumed importance in the wake of China flexing its muscles in the strategic Indo-Pacific region.

At the meeting, India underscored its firm commitment to make the Indo-Pacific a region for shared economic growth.

Asserting that India will "continue to work together on shared values", Modi said, "When you look at the acronym of our three countries -- Japan, America, and India -- it is 'JAI', which stands for success in Hindi."

Earlier, Modi met Jinping seperately and the two leaders concurred there had been a perceptible improvement in bilateral relations, even as they looked to build on a thaw in ties after a standoff on the border last year.

At the meeting, Modi and Xi discussed joint efforts to further enhance mutual trust and friendship between the two giant neighbours.

The two leaders have met twice after their informal summit in the Chinese city of Wuhan in late April -- once at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation summit held in June in China's Qingdao and the second time at the BRICS summit in South Africa's Johannesburg in July.

Asserting that the Wuhan meet was a milestone in the India-China ties, Modi told Xi that he was looking forward to host him for an informal summit next year.

"Such initiatives are helpful in maintaining the momentum," the prime minister said, adding that there "have been two review meetings -- in Qingdao and in Johannesburg".

He said the ties between the two countries have made huge strides over the last one year.

IMAGE: Modi and Jinping meets on the sidelines of the G20 summit. Photograph: Press Information Bureau

The relations between the two neighbours were strained last year following a 73-day standoff in Doklam in the Sikkim sector of the border.

The chill between the two sides later improved resulting in an informal summit between Modi and Xi at Wuhan where the two leaders decided to issue "strategic guidance" to their militaries to strengthen communications to build trust and understanding, a move aimed at avoiding a Doklam-like situation in the future.

Modi said Friday's meeting will strengthen further the partnership between the two nations.

"Today's meeting will be important in providing a direction in terms of strengthening our relations," he said.

"I express my heartiest thanks to you (President Xi) for taking out time for this meeting," the prime minister said.

Modi later tweeted, "Had a wonderful meeting with President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G-20 Summit in Argentina. The talks revolved around a wide range of bilateral and global subjects. Our regular interactions have added significant strength to India-China ties."

According to Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale, the two leaders said that there had been a perceptible improvement in bilateral relations.

"Both of them had a very detailed review of what they agreed to in Wuhan and how it was progressed. Both of them said that progress has been made on the economic side," he said.

Xi referred to enhanced imports of rice and sugar from India and spoke about the possibility of greater import of soymeal and rapeseed. He also expressed the hope that India would import more agricultural products from China.

Xi also indicated greater trade between the two nations in the pharmaceutical sector, Gokhale said.

"On the political side, they welcomed the visit of the Chinese defense minister, of the holding of the counter-terrorism military exercise next week in India and the recently concluded special representative talks.

"Both leaders (said) that there had been a positive improvement in border management along the India-China border areas following the Wuhan summit," the foreign secretary said.

Modi and Xi also said that they were looking forward to the first meeting of the high-level mechanism on people-to-people exchanges in New Delhi in December.

"Both sides also specifically mentioned that the first bilateral cooperation that had begun in Afghanistan which is the training of Afghan diplomats, had been successful and that they were looking for further such opportunities," Gokhale said.

After the meeting, the PMO tweeted that the two leaders held productive discussions.

External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Ravish Kumar tweeted, "Working together to strengthen the Wuhan spirit."

"PM @narendramodi had a warm & productive meeting with President Xi of #China, their 4th this year, on sidelines of #G20Summit. Discussed joint efforts to further enhance mutual trust and friendship across all aspects of our ties," he added.

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