(TibetanReview.net, Apr23, 2018) – Sino-India relations appeared to be headed for a reset with Indian Prime Minister Mr Narendra Modi being scheduled to travel to the Chinese city of Wuhan for an informal summit meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping over Apr 27 to 28.
India’s Foreign Secretary Mr Vijay Gokhale’s predecessor Mr S Jaishankar who retired in January this year has described the scheduled meeting as a bold step. “They will be meeting in an informal environment. The agenda will be open. They will spend a lot of time over two days and there will be different kind of conversations, much more personal interactive,” tribuneindia.com Apr 22 quoted him as saying.
A formal announcement of the meeting was made after India’s External Affair Minister, Ms Sushma Swaraj, held bilateral talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on the sidelines of the SCO (Shanghai Cooperation Organisation) Foreign Ministers’ meet in Beijing on Apr 22.
“My discussion with Minister Wang Yi was to prepare for the informal meeting between our leaders. It will be an important occasion for them to exchange views on bilateral and international matters with objective of enhancing mutual communication at level of leaders,” the report quoted Swaraj as saying.
Xi and Modi will have strategic communication on the world’s profound changes, and exchange, in an in-depth manner, views on overall, long-term and strategic issues regarding China-India relations, reported China’s official Xinhua news agency Apr 22 at a joint press briefing with Swaraj. He has said socialism with Chinese characteristics had entered a new era, while India was at a critical period for its development and rejuvenation.
Wang has said the informal meeting will help deepen mutual trust between the two leaders, make strategic judgement on the world pattern and China-India relations, and guide the two countries to set new goals and open up new prospects for the bilateral ties.
He has called the two nations “natural cooperation partners”, adding their common interests far outweighed their disputes. “It is an inevitable choice of the two countries to stick to long-term friendship, mutual beneficial cooperation and common development.”
The reports cited Wang as stressing that the informal summit would add a new milestone in Sino-Indian relations.
Modi’s Wuhan visit comes ahead of the SCO summit to be held in Qingdao in China in Jun. India and its bitter rival Pakistan became full members of the SCO last year.
The last meeting between Xi and Modi took place in China’s southeastern city of Xiamen last September after the ninth BRICS summit.