In a joint statement issued on Friday, India and China decided that early settlement of the boundary question would be pursued as a “strategic objective”, even as Prime Minister Narendra Modi accepted Chinese President Xi Jinping’s invitation to visit China “at an early date”. The two sides also decided to “strengthen political communication” and “deepen strategic trust”, while agreeing that “peace and tranquillity on the India-China border areas” is an important guarantor for the development of bilateral relations. This comes in the wake of regular Chinese incursions into Indian territory particularly in Ladakh, the latest being the incursions in Chumar and Demchok.

Apart from agreeing to continue holding joint Army exercises, the two sides also agreed to hold joint Air Force and Navy exercises at “a proper time”. The two sides also decided to hold the first round of maritime cooperation dialogue within this year. The joint statement was issued at the end of Jinping’s three-day visit to India on Friday afternoon.

“During the visit, the two sides exchanged views on the India-China boundary question and reiterated their commitment to seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution, proceeding from the overall interests of bilateral relations … both sides reiterated their commitment to an early settlement of the boundary question and expressed their conviction that this will advance basic interests of the two countries and shall, therefore, be pursued as a strategic objective.