20 March 2018
Beijing/New Delhi: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday talked over telephone and pledged to deepen bilateral ties and promote mutual trust.
In a phone call by Modi to Xi on his re-election as China's President, the leaders agreed that both countries should talk more as healthy bilateral ties were key for the development of Asia.
According to China's state news agency Xinhua, Modi told Xi that his re-election showed that he enjoyed the support of the whole Chinese nation.
Xi has emerged as the most powerful leader in China after Mao Zedong.
The state-controlled news outlet said that Xi told Modi that he is ready to enhance communication with the Indian leader on long-term strategic bilateral issues to promote political mutual trust.
India and China nearly came to an armed conflict when their armies had a 73-day face off at Doklam in the eastern sector of their disputed border last year.
The stand-off was resolved in August, a week ahead of a Modi-Xi bilateral meet on the sidelines of the BRICS summit.
Both sides have made efforts to repair the damage to the ties that plummeted to decades-low.
According to New Delhi, "the two leaders agreed that as two major powers growing rapidly, bilateral relations between India and China were vital for the realisation of the 21st century as 'Asian century'."
"The two leaders also agreed to continue their close consultations on regional and international issues of mutual trust."
Modi and Xi are likely to meet in June on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Summit in China.
China's opposition to a UN ban on Pakistani terrorist, Masood Azhar, who plotted deadly attacks at Indian Army bases, has also strained their relations.
Beijing's "no" to India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group is also a vexed issue.
Besides, Beijing's Belt and Road project, whose key artery goes through Kashmir held by Pakistan and claimed by India, irks New Delhi.