Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday said India and China should not let bilateral disagreements dilute the cooperation. Xi made the remarks after the conclusion of the second informal summit between India and China, held in Mamallapuram on the outskirts of Chennai.

Xi also said that the dance of the “dragon and elephant” was the only correct option for the two countries and their people, PTI reported. “We should carefully handle issues concerning each other’s core interests,” Xi said, according to state-run Chinese news agency Xinhua. “We should properly manage and control problems that cannot be solved for the time being.”

Xi proposed a six-point formula for the seamless development of ties between the two nations without allowing the differences become a hurdle, the report said. The president said that India and China should strive to be neighbours and partners that live in harmony and go forward together.

“Differences between the two countries should be viewed in a correct way,” he said. “At the same time, we should seek understanding through communication and constantly resolve differences.”

Earlier this week, India was upset after China said that it was keeping an eye on the situation in Kashmir. The remarks came from Beijing after a meeting with Pakistan Prime Imran Khan. New Delhi had responded saying Kashmir was its internal matter and not for others to comment on.

New Delhi said the two leaders did not discuss Jammu and Kashmir, but the Chinese president briefed Modi about his meeting with Imran Khan. Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said Kashmir was “not raised, and not discussed”.

After the informal summit in China, Xi said that the India and China should conduct effective strategic communication, improve mutual understanding and cooperation and also work towards developing ties. The president said the next few years would be crucial for the two nations.

On the conflict over the Line of Actual Control in Ladakh, the president said they will ask for a fair and reasonable resolution to the dispute, according to the political guiding principles. He added that Indian and Chinese military should carry out joint exercises and training to develop mutual interest between them.

The Chinese president said that high-level discussions would be held to address India’s concerns on the trade deficit between the two countries, The Indian Express reported. The talks would be conducted between finance ministers so that the matter of mutual investments can be discussed.

Finance Secretary Vijay Gokhale said that China was “ready to take sincere action, and discuss in a very concrete way how to reduce the trade deficit”. Trade between the two nations peaked in 2018, but India’s reportedly comprised only $18.84 billion out of $95.54 billion.

The delegation-level talks were held on Saturday. Providing a summary of the meeting, Vijay Gokhale said: “The two leaders today had a conversation for almost 90 minutes, followed by delegation-level talks and then lunch was hosted by Modi. A total of six hours of one-to-one meeting was held between the two leaders during this summit.” The two leaders also held discussions over terrorism, bilateral relations, investments and trade among several topics for nearly two and a half hours over dinner on Friday.

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