03:02 GMT08 August 2020
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    Carrying forward the spirit of cooperation achieved during the Modi-Xi meeting in Astana, India’s deputy external affairs minister V.K. Singh met Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting in Beijing over the weekend.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — Singh and Yi discussed steps to enhance bilateral strategic ties and dialogue to build upon the spirit of cooperation achieved during the meeting of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Astana on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on June 8-9.

    “President Xi and PM Modi have laid down directions for us and both the countries to proceed with a path of mutual respect, mutual cooperation on how to improve the existing mechanisms so that more trade, commerce, and people-to-people contacts can take place. We both are Asian neighbors, two growing economies, people with ancient relations, we mark the path for others to follow. India looks forward to strengthening and deepening its strategic partnership and mutual dialogue with China," PTI quoted Singh as saying after his meeting with Yi.

    Singh is in Beijing to attend the meeting of the BRICS foreign ministers to finalize the agenda for this year’s summit in September to be held in China’s Xiamen city.

    Experts said despite a lot of differences that have “unfortunately” come to overwhelm the bilateral ties, there is a lot of synergy between India and China to cooperate on multiple issues, including at multilateral platforms.

    “India and China are capable of achieving a lot of things together, and the foremost of that must include enhancing bilateral trade, which at present is in China’s favor. India must leverage its opportunities and expand trade with China and create conditions to attract more investment and generate manufacturing opportunities for them. Many Chinese electronics firms are investing in India, while large infrastructure firms are also exploring opportunities in multiple sectors like high-tech railway networks. Unfortunately, what get highlighted in India-China ties are differences. It doesn’t mean they don’t exist, but they are just one aspect of our ties with China. For instance, despite these differences, India-China trade ties have grown tremendously,” Deep K. Datta-Ray, Associate Professor, at the New Delhi-based O.P. Jindal World University, told Sputnik.

    During his meeting with Yi, Singh avoided making any reference to differences between the two countries, including India’s concerns over the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is one of the strands of projects in the multi-billion dollar Belt and Road Initiative.

    Besides, China continues to block India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group wherein India has the backing of Russia, the US, France and several other European nations.

    The BRICS foreign ministers’ meeting is a precursor to a chain of meetings of BRICS officials including the National Security Advisers (NSAs) meeting to be held later next month ahead of the September summit.

    China has taken over the rotating presidency of the BRICS from India after the Goa summit last year.


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