Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday called for greater cooperation between India and China, underlining his government's desire to make a new beginning with the country's difficult neighbour, so as to bring the rapidly expanding commercial relations and the political perceptions of the two sides on an even keel.
During his meeting with Wang Yi, China's foreign minister and special envoy of Chinese President Xi Jinping, on Monday evening, Modi appreciated the importance attached by the Chinese government to building relations with the new government of India, which reaffirmed its positive perception of India's role in the world and conveyed its expectation and desire for the future direction of bilateral relations as both countries pursue their respective developmental dreams.
The prime minister also accepted Chinese premier Li Keqiang's invitation to pay an early visit to China and said he planned to visit Beijing soon.
''The two sides will remain in touch through diplomatic channel to make necessary arrangements for these visits and for other meetings and exchanges of leaders on the sidelines of multilateral summits,'' he said.
India and China have rapidly expanded commercial relations in recent years but political ties remained difficult. India was also once viewed as a rival to China's economic juggernaut. Both the economies, however, have been going through a slow pace of growth, but India's slowdown has been dramatic.
Asia's third-largest economy grew 4.7 per cent in the fiscal year that ended in March, growing at sub-5 per cent rate for a second year in succession.
Modi, who won the election on a promise of economic revival and jobs, wants to push infrastructure and skill development - a model followed by China to boost economic growth – for a faster turnaround of the economy.
During his meeting with the Chinese minister, Modi also ''emphasised the potential for greater cooperation between India and China for mutually beneficial trade and investment as economic partners, joining hands in various areas like counter-terrorism as neighbours, and promoting vigorous cultural exchanges as inheritors of ancient civilizations having extensive historical and spiritual contacts''.