Cha-Am Hua Hin (Thailand), Oct. 24 (PTI): Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao today agreed that bilateral issues should be properly handled through discussions but chose to skirt the controversy over Arunachal Pradesh.
The two leaders, meeting against the backdrop of recent recriminations, underlined the importance of building trust, harmony and better understanding.
During the hourlong talks with Wen on the sidelines of the Asean-India Summit, Singh said both sides should have a better understanding at the political level so that bilateral relations were robust and strengthened.
Wen concurred with Singh when he said that the issues which might arise should be properly handled through discussion so they do not affect growth of friendly ties, N. Ravi, secretary (east) in the ministry of external affairs, told reporters.
The two leaders, however, did not discuss Arunachal over which the neighbours have sparred in recent weeks. The scheduled visit of the Dalai Lama did not find mention either.
Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua said Wen and Singh agreed to make efforts to gradually narrow the differences on border issues.
The two Prime Ministers agreed to try and ensure peace and stability in the border area, saying it would be conducive to resolving the border issues and furthering bilateral co-operation, Xinhua reported.
They agreed to continue talks with the aim of removing the barriers to a solution that was fair and acceptable to both, the Chinese agency said.
Ravi read out a prepared text but did not take any questions from the media.
The Chinese Premier said it was important that India and China lived in harmony and friendship and enjoy prosperity, Ravi said.
Describing Singh as an old friend, Wen said it was important to implement the agreements outlined in the 10-pronged strategy of 2006 and the Vision Document of last year to deepen mutually beneficial co-operation on bilateral, regional and international issues.
We want to have a healthy and steady relationship with India, Wen said.
He referred to Singhs remark that both countries had enough space to develop and co-operate and said there are sufficient areas in the world for India and China to enhance such co-operation.
The meeting came as the two countries struck conciliatory notes after provocative statements from China on Arunachal evoked a strong response from India.
Wen, while felicitating Singh on his re-election, recalled that in past years they had reached important agreements on developing and strengthening bilateral ties.
This serves the interests of the two countries, the region and the world, he said while stressing the importance of high level visits to this end.
Terming his meeting with Wen as productive, Singh said it was a good discussion and the two sides agreed to further promote strategic and co-operative partnership and seek to build trust and understanding.
Singh, while reviewing with Wen the bilateral relations in all aspects, said he would like to see the ties move forward in every direction.
Wen made a pitch for friendly and co-operative relations to ensure that Asian Century becomes a reality.