Chinese President Xi Jinping has told Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi that their two countries should pursue “healthy, stable bilateral ties”, state media reported Tuesday in the wake of a protracted border standoff.
The exchange, mentioned in brief dispatches and tweets by China’s official Xinhua news agency, apparently occurred on the sidelines of the just-concluded summit of BRICS emerging economies hosted by China.
Xinhua said Xi told Modi that “healthy, stable bilateral ties” were “in line with the fundamental interests” of the two neighbours.
A separate Xinhua tweet said Xi called for relations to be brought onto the “right track”.
— China Xinhua News (@XHNews) September 5, 2017
The two nuclear powers engaged in a bitter, weeks-long military confrontation in a disputed and strategically important area in the Himalayas.
They backed off only last week, just days before Modi arrived in the southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen for the summit, which had opened Monday amid tension over the boundary dispute.
The contested area, Doklam, is claimed by both China and Bhutan, an ally of India.
New Delhi announced early last week that both countries were pulling back their border forces, while Beijing said only that India had withdrawn “all its border personnel and equipment that were illegally on the Chinese territory”.
The stand-off began on June 16, sparking one of the worst crises in decades between the two countries.
India does not claim Doklam for itself but is closely allied with Bhutan, which it regards as a buffer against rival China to the north.
India and China have a long history of mistrust and went to war in 1962 over the Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh.
The five-country BRICS grouping includes both nations as well as Brazil, Russia and South Africa.