Chinese President Xi Jinping sought Tuesday to move past a tense border dispute with India, telling Prime Minister Narendra Modi the two nuclear-armed neighbours should pursue “healthy, stable” relations, according to China’s state media. Xi told Modi that “healthy, stable bilateral ties” were “in line with the fundamental interests” of the neighbours, the official Xinhua news agency said.
“China is willing to work with India on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence which were put forward by both countries to improve political mutual trust, promote mutually beneficial cooperation, and push Sino-Indian ties along a right track,” the report quoted him as saying. An Indian foreign ministry spokesman also tweeted that the two leaders had a “constructive and forward-looking” talk.
Armed forces of the two countries engaged in a bitter, weeks-long military confrontation in a disputed and strategically important Himalayan area. The contested area, Doklam, is claimed by both China and Bhutan, an ally of India. The stand-off began on June 16 when Chinese troops started building a road in the area.
India deployed troops to stop the construction project, prompting Beijing to accuse it of trespassing on Chinese soil and sparking one of the worst crises in decades between the two countries, which have a history of mistrust.