Wuhan: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday met for an unprecedented informal summit in Wuhan during which they will have a series of one-on-one conversations focussing on bilateral, global and regional issues.
Prime Minister Modi who arrived in Wuhan in the central Chinese city early on Friday for the informal summit began their talks soon after President Xi hosted a grand welcoming ceremony for him. Wuhan used to be the favourite holiday spot of revolutionary Chinese leader Mao Zedong.
Officials sources said the two leaders will hold a series of one-on-one talks after lunch at the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan which has a large number of state-level historic and cultural relics. The summit is being seen as an effort by India and China to rebuild trust and improve ties that were hit by the 73-day-long Dokalam standoff last year. They said Modi and Xi would focuss on global, regional and bilateral issues.
The one-to-one discussions will be followed by talks between the two leaders accompanied by six top officials from each side. The two leaders will have one-on-one dinner at a state guest house by the famous East Lake. They will resume their one-on-one interaction tomorrow at 10am (local time) with walks by the lake side, boat ride and wind up their talks over lunch, official sources in Wuhan said.
The two leaders began their informal meetings way back in 2014 when Xi was hosted by Modi at the Sabarmati Ashram of Mahatma Gandhi in Gujarat. They have met and interacted with each other in about a dozen international meetings since then. But this will be their “heart-to-heart" informal summit. There will be no agreement signed or a joint statement issued.
It is a summit, according to the officials, to forge consensus to resolve the issues with follow up actions by officials than announcing any agreements. This is something the leaders of the two countries have never tried so far, they said. PTI