NEW DELHI (Reuters) - China is determined to bridge differences over its shared border with India, President Xi Jinping said on Thursday, adding that both sides were capable of dealing with fallout from security incidents on the disputed frontier.
“China has the determination to work with India through friendly consultation to settle the boundary question at an early date,” Xi said after summit talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi.
“We also have the sincerity to work with India to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas before we are finally able to settle the boundary question.”
Xi also said China would support India becoming a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) - a regional security body whose largest members are China and Russia.
China’s Foreign Ministry said in a statement released in Beijing that China welcomed both India and its great regional rival, Pakistan, joining the SCO.
“We welcome and support India and Pakistan to formally become new members of the SCO as early as possible,” the ministry said.
Their admission would boost the group’s ability to maintain regional security, it added, without saying when they might join.
Pakistan is China’s most important ally in South Asia, though Xi had to cancel a trip on his current swing through the region due to ongoing unrest there.
China, Russia and four Central Asian nations - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan - formed the SCO in 2001 as a regional security bloc to fight threats posed by radical Islam and drug trafficking from neighboring Afghanistan.
Reporting by Aditya Kalra; Additional reporting by Ben Blanchard in Beijing; Writing by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Nick Macfie