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Modi raises China dispute at India-EU summit

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday raised the issue of the ongoing border standoff with China at the India-European Union (EU) Summit even as both sides lauded each other for sharing common universal values of “democracy, pluralism, inclusivity, respect for international institutions, multilateralism, freedom, transparency”.

The 15th India-EU Summit took place for the first time on the virtual platform. It was held between PM Modi and Charles Michel, President, European Council (which defines the EU’s overall political direction and priorities) and Ursula Von der Leyen, President, European Commission (EU’s executive branch).

PM Modi said India and the 27-nation bloc are “natural partners” even as both should “adopt a long-term strategic perspective”.

“Along with this, an action-oriented agenda should be implemented, which can be implemented within the stipulated time frame,” Modi said in his opening remarks during the summit, reports The Print.

The summit comes at a time when India and China are engaged in a bitter border dispute since early May at the Ladakh sector of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), which also witnessed a violent face-off at the Galwan River Valley on 15 June.: 0:53

“We discussed this topic (India-China border standoff)… Prime Minister Modi also informed us about the latest developments regarding this incident with China and we support all the efforts in order to maintain a channel of dialogue, in order to find a peaceful solution,” President Michel said during an online press briefing from Brussels.

According to Von der Leyen, while the EU shares “important” relationships with both India as well as with China, but with New Delhi, Brussels shares “democracies and values”, while relationship with China is “complex”.

She said the EU has “strong” trading relationships with both India and China, and both are “very important” for Brussels in the fight against climate change.

“The difference is indeed with India, that is we are democracies… We share democracies and our values,” she added.

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