India and China agreed to cooperate in several areas on Monday, during India's external affairs minister S Jaishankar's meeting with his counterpart Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi.
The visit is a preparatory visit for the second informal summit between Indian Prime minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping which will take place on October 11 in Varanasi. The first informal summit between the two leaders had taken place in April 2018 at Wuhan.
During the joint press conference with Wang Yi, Jaishanker said: "Wuhan was a historic meeting that has provided positive direction to our relations", adding, "there has been progress in overall relationship. The two countries agree that maintenance of peace and tranquillity in the border areas is essential for the smooth development of our relations."
Beijing has offered to expand Mansarovar Yatra and said it is aware of India's call for greater access to domestic Chinese market.
"We are of the view that we need to deepen our cooperation," China's foreign minister said, adding, "we stand ready to provide facilities to Indian exports to China".
Jaishanker is in the Chinese capital for a three-day visit to participate in the India-China high-level mechanism to increase cultural and people-to-people exchanges. It was part of the informal agreement between PM Modi and President Xi at the Wuhan Summit.
Jaishanker's meeting on Monday took place in the backdrop of New Delhi's decision to remove the special status for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir which cropped up during the Jaishankar-Wang discussions.
The Chinese foreign minister said: "There are some differences between our two countries, we don't shy away from those differences. We exchanged view on those matters in a candid manner regarding recent tensions between India and Pak, we made clear China's concerns and issues regarding China's sovereignty, we stated China's principled position."
Jaishankar called for "mutual sensitivity to each other’s core concerns" and "properly managing differences" vital for India-China relations.
"As our leaders agreed in Astana, differences should not become disputes. That is how India-China relations can remain a factor of stability in an uncertain world," he said.
Meanwhile, China has called for Indian support to "pushback unilateralism, protectionism with concrete action" and "safeguard the status of China and India as developing countries" even as Bejing faces Washington's ire on the trade front.
Both sides also concluded four MoUs on promoting cultural exchanges, enhancing cooperation in the field of traditional medicine, promoting exchanges between national sports associations and cooperation in museum management.
The two foreign ministries have agreed on a plan of action for bilateral engagements for the year 2020 which marks 70 years of establishment of diplomatic ties.
Jaishanker will be calling the Chinese President Xi Jinping on Tuesday morning before leaving for Delhi. He called on Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan on Monday morning.
Jaishankar who was India's ambassador to China earlier reiterated the need for strong India-China relations.