Narendra Modi, Xi Jinping set stage for deepening India-China ties at Wuhan summit

At Wuhan, Narendra Modi thanks Xi Jinping for meeting him twice outside the Chinese capital while Chinese president praises ‘good momentum’ in India-China ties.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photograph at the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan.(PTI)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday invited President Xi Jinping for an “informal summit” in India, saying India and China should cooperate with each other for peace, stability and prosperity in the world.
Modi was delivering the opening remarks at delegation-level talks with Xi after a one-on-one meeting with him earlier in the day at the Hubei provincial museum in Wuhan, the largest city in central China.
Modi said it was perhaps the first time that Xi had met another country’s leader in China twice outside the capital, Beijing, referring to his meeting with the Chinese leader in Xian in May 2015.
Modi, who reached Wuhan late Thursday night for a two-day informal summit, said it was sign the importance Xi accorded to India as a country.
Xi said India and China are “central pillars for promoting a multi-polar and globalised world.”
“The growth of China-India relations has maintained good momentum. Our two countries have established close partnership. Our exchange and cooperation have made positive progress,” he said.
Xi said the two counties need to maintain strong ties and focus on national development.
After the talks, the two leaders headed to an official dinner Xi will host at the East Lake state guest house.
Modia and Xi, in meetings on Saturday, are expected to have “heart-to-heart” exchanges and lay the roadmap for bilateral consensus and understanding.
The summit -- repeatedly termed as “informal” by both Indian and Chinese diplomats -- is not expected to produce tangible outcomes: Deals will not be signed nor will a joint statement be issued.
The Indian side is expected to issue a press statement at the end of meetings on Saturday.
The absence of a joint statement doesn’t mean that the leaders will not reach consensus on issues, officials said. The informal nature of the meetings is only to ensure that the two leaders can engage in a relaxed atmosphere with negligible diplomatic trappings, they said.
The Chinese media said on Friday the meetings could improve ties between the countries.
“The tete-a-tete between the two leaders is going to set stage for Beijing and New Delhi to further exchange views over long-term and strategic issues and to initiate fresh momentum for future bilateral cooperation,” said Xinhua, the official news agency, in commentary.
“On global trade issues, both Xi and Modi have warned on different occasions of the dire threats of rising trade barriers to the world economy. China and India should firmly stick to the spirit of free trade so as to help maintain the current global free trading system with the World Trade Organisation at the centre,” it said.
Resources Hindustan Times

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