In the first meeting between the new leaders of the world’s most populous countries, Chinese Premier Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi set the stage for healthy bilateral ties. Meeting on the sidelines of the sixth BRICS summit in Brazil, just days after the Football World Cup finals, both leaders agreed to boost bilateral trade and smoothly resolve the border issue. China claims more than 90,000 sq km (35,000 sq miles) in the eastern sector of the Himalayas. India says China occupies 38,000 sq km of its territory on the Aksai Chin plateau in the west.
During the 80 minute meeting, the neighbours agreed they would rather be long-term strategic partners, rather than competitors. A statement in local Chinese media – Xinhua said that China and India aim to work together to achieve peaceful development and cooperation so that the 2.5 billion people between our nations can live a better life and regional ties can be strengthened.
In extending a hand, President Xi Jinping will also visit India is September, and has invited Modi to attend the 21 member Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting, or APEC in China two months later. India has never attended an APEC summit, and has long sought to become a member to help boost its economy. APEC includes Canada, Mexico, Russia and the United States and accounts for about 40 percent of the world’s population, 55 percent of global gross domestic product and 44 percent of world trade.