'We tasked our Special Representatives to consider further measures that may be needed to maintain peace and tranquillity along the border'
Media Statement by Prime Minister during the State Visit of Chinese Premier H.E. Li Keqiang to India
Your Excellency Premier Li,
Ladies and Gentlemen of the media,
It is an honour for me to welcome Premier Li on his first official visit to India. It has been an immense pleasure to get to know him personally. I sincerely appreciate his reaching out to me on his first day in office and his choosing India as his first foreign destination as Premier.
Starting yesterday evening, Premier Li and I have had wide-ranging and candid discussions covering all matters of mutual interest and concern. I am delighted that there are so many areas of convergence between us and on which there is a great deal of meeting of minds. Most importantly, we agreed that the relationship between our two countries is of growing significance and essential for our peaceful development and sustained economic growth, as well as for stability and prosperity in our region and the world.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
India and China are two civilizational neighbours and have lived in peace through the ages. We have had our differences in more recent times, but over the last 25 years, we have steadily built a mutually beneficial relationship. The basis for continued growth and expansion of our ties is peace and tranquillity on our borders. While seeking an early resolution of the boundary question, Premier Li and I agreed that this must continue to be preserved.
We also took stock of lessons learnt from the recent incident in the Western Sector, when existing mechanisms proved their worth. We tasked our Special Representatives to consider further measures that may be needed to maintain peace and tranquillity along the border. We agreed that our Special Representatives will meet soon to continue discussions, seeking early agreement on a framework for a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable boundary settlement.
I also reiterated to Premier Li India’s concerns about the effects on lower riparians of activities in the upper reaches of our shared rivers. It would be useful for the mandate of our Expert Level Mechanism to be expanded to include information sharing on upstream development projects on these rivers. I am glad that we have agreed to expand cooperation on trans-border rivers. It would also be useful for India and China to collaborate on a better understanding of the stresses on our shared Himalayan ecosystem.
I shared with Premier Li my view that the rise of China and India is good for the world and that the world has enough space to accommodate the growth aspirations of both our peoples. To make this a reality, it is important to build understanding between our two peoples. We agreed that both sides must work to strengthen greater trust and confidence, which, in turn, will permit much larger co-operation.