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FTA between India, China can spur trade: Chinese envoy

FTA between India, China can spur trade: Chinese envoy

Keeping the Doklam Standoff in mind, both the leaders also chose to issue guidance to their militaries to implement various confidence-building measures to strengthen the existing institutional mechanisms, thus, preventing and managing the situations in the border areas.

Both China and India said they seek a fair settlement to their border disputes, and to this end, the Special Representatives appointed by the two nations will play a key role.

"These informal meetings between two leaders will continue and strategic communication will be strengthened", Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said, briefing media over the summit. Mr Gokhale said, the two leaders also made a decision to issue guidance to their militaries to implement various confidence-building measures which have already been agreed upon by the two sides and to strengthen existing institutional mechanisms to prevent and manage situations in the border areas.

Taking potshots at Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the Congress on Saturday asked about the outcome of his two day "without agenda" China visit.

Such an India-China project might be a disappointment for Pakistan, which tends to view Afghanistan as its backyard and Beijing as its all-weather friend.

But, India's concern with China is its rising trade deficit.

The China Daily in an opinion piece said: "The beauty of the informal summit between Xi and Modi is that it comes with no baggage, only expectations".

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The official China Daily said in an editorial there was no denying mutual suspicion was keeping the two countries from working together.

On Friday afternoon, Modi and Xi had a one-on-one meeting before touring the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan, home to some of China's oldest cultural relics.

PM Narendra Modi with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

"In that context, the Prime Minister also mentioned the importance of balancing trade and also spoke of the possibility of agricultural export and pharmaceutical exports to China". New Delhi also opposes China's infrastructure investments in South Asia, particularly in Pakistan-administered Kashmir, which India claims as its own sovereign territory.

Modi and Xi agreed that better ties could also benefit the region's economies, Gokhale told reporters in Wuhan.

Regardless of the current visit's outcome, Modi appears intent on building a strong personal relationship with Xi, who will be China's leader for years to come following the lifting of term limits on the presidency. While the two leaders recognised the common threat posed by terrorism, specific issues like China's opposition to Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar being labeled a terrorist by the United Nations - and to India's membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group - were not brought up.

"7 events in 2 days, President #XiJinping and PM Modi spent 9 hours together, covering a wide range of topics in in-depth exchanges with much consensus".