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Xi assures Modi differences won’t be allowed to escalate

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The second day of informal dialogue between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping began on Saturday. The two statesmen met in Mahabalipuram (Mamallapuram), Tamil Nadu, again today. The informal conversation between PM Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping lasted for about 40 minutes at the Cove Resort.

Delegation-level talks were also held between the two countries, too, as a 100-member delegation, including Foreign Minister Wang Yi and State Counsellor Yang Jiechi, are accompanying the Chinese president.

On behalf of India, Foreign Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval have been a part of this informal meeting.

After the delegation-level talks, PM Modi said India and China were simultaneously achieving new heights in the 21st century. They had decided to eliminate the differences and not allow any dispute to arise, he said. Discussions were held on global and bilateral issues at the Chennai Summit, through which a new round of cooperation will start between the two countries, Modi hoped.

Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed happiness at his reception in Tamil Nadu and said, “I am very happy with the reception in Tamil Nadu. This tour of India will always be memorable. My visit has deepened the emotional bond between India and China. We had a very good conversation yesterday and today. We talked to each other like friends.”

Earlier, Foreign Ministry spokesman Vijay Gokhale had said that there were discussions on trade, economy and investment matters between the two leaders.

Chinese President Xi Jinping had arrived in India on Friday evening. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi welcomed him in the southern state of Tamil Nadu.

Prime Minister Modi seized the opportunity thrown up by his meeting with Xi in the town to reach out to the domestic Tamil constituency. He thanked the people of the state for enabling him to host the guests from China. The messaging went well beyond appearing in a veshti and angavastram yesterday. “#ChennaiConnect will provide drive the India-China relations further,” he tweeted in Tamil:

He wrote further, “I thank, in particular, the brothers and sisters of Tamil Nadu. As always, their love and hospitality stand out. It is always a pleasure to be with the people of this vibrant state.”

It may be recalled that Modi’s recent Tamil outreach began with his speech delivered at the United Nations General Assembly where he quoted Tamil poet Kaniyan Pungundranar’s famous line “yaadhum oore yaavarum kelir (we belong to all places and to everyone)”.

Kaniyan Pungundranar was an influential Tamil philosopher-astronomer-mathematician of the Sangam Age. Former President of India the late APJ Abdul Kalam was the first Indian to quote this famous line in his European Union Historical Speech:

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