India's Modi picks up trash from seaside town while hosting China's Xi


Chinese President Xi Jinping left for Nepal on Saturday by an Air China aircraft, concluding his second informal summit with Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi, which has signalled a recalibration of bilateral ties.

Just before Xi's visit to India, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Kahn called on him earlier this week in China and the duo released a joint statement.

Modi was in Chennai as part of the Indo-Chinese summit with Chinese president Xi Jinping.

Ties were ruffled when India revoked the special status of the Himalayan territory of Kashmir in August, angering both Pakistan, which claims the region, and its all-weather ally China.

But at their talks on Friday, the leaders acknowledged a common challenge, Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said.

When Xi said he supports Pakistan's "legitimate rights", India's foreign ministry thundered it was "not for other countries to comment on the internal affairs of India".

Delhi feels Beijing has broken an understanding to be aware of each nation's "sensitivities and concerns", the paper said, noting India had stayed silent over months-long pro-democracy protests in Hong Kong.

"Frankly, the optics surrounding this visit don't look very promising at the moment", Harsh Pant, an global relations professor at King's College London, told AFP.

India and China share a almost 4,000 km border, most of which is disputed.

Friday's talks between Modi and Xi were aimed at building on the relationship reset that began in Wuhan in April a year ago. Their latest meeting, over elaborate meals and dance performances in Mahabalipuram on Friday and Saturday, is aimed at building on that.

Xi and Modi visited three iconic monuments - Arjuna's Penance, Pancha Rathas and the Shore Temple - at Mamallapuram, a tourist town famous for its stone carvings 60 kilometers south of Chennai.

China, on its part, has been reportedly unhappy about Indian military exercises in Arunachal Pradesh, some 100km from the undemarcated border between the two countries.

"Both leaders said that these were large countries and that radicalisation was a matter of concern to both, and that both would work together to see that radicalisation and terrorism did not affect the fabric of our multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious societies", Gokhale told reporters.

India and Washington, seeking with others to counter China´s growing regional assertiveness, have deepened military cooperation and India has moved closer to the Quad security dialogue with Japan, the United States and Australia. Also, delegation level talks were held.

"I don't think either India or China has this kind of mechanism with any other leader in the world for the leaders to meet informally and to speak and discuss without a set agenda", he said. "We have a made a wise decision on informal summits".