Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday said China and India are the “backbone” of the world’s multipolarisation and economic globalisation, PTI reported. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is in China on a two-day informal visit to meet his counterpart in Wuhan.

Modi and Xi agreed to work on improving trust and communication between the military of the two countries, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said.

The meeting is seen as an effort to improve bilateral ties between the two countries, which had weakened because of the Doklam standoff last year. The Doklam plateau, near the India-Bhutan-China tri-junction, was the site of a 74-day-long standoff between Indian and Chinese troops from June to August 2017. Since the standoff ended, both countries have maintained that talks are on to improve troubled ties.

Xi said cooperation between the two countries can influence the world. “Both sides should develop Sino-Indian ties from a strategic perspective, constantly enhance mutual understanding and trust, and promote all sectors and people of the two countries to deepen mutual understanding and cultivate friendly feelings,” Xinhua quoted Xi as saying.

The foreign secretary said the two leaders agreed on prioritising the maintenance of peace along their borders and “decided to issue strategic guidelines to their military to this effect”. The leaders agreed on the effectiveness of such informal meetings with plans to hold more of such a nature in the future. On Friday, Modi invited the Chinese president to India for an informal summit in 2019.

China and India also agreed to cooperate on countering terrorism. “The two leaders agreed that India and China are major powers and will pursue peaceful, balanced relations which will be important among current global uncertainty,” Gokhale told reporters.

Modi and Xi Jinping also discussed ways to achieve balanced and sustainable trade.