Prime Minister Narendra Modi (left) with Chinese President Xi Jinping (right) during a meeting. (Source: PTI)

Modi, Xi Meet For ‘Heart-To-Heart’ Talks In Wuhan

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping today met for an unprecedented informal summit at Wuhan during which they will have a series of one-on-one conversations focusing on bilateral, global and regional issues.

Prime Minister Modi who arrived at the central Chinese city early today 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 Chinese revolutionary leader Mao Zedong.

Officials sources said the two leaders would hold a series of one-on-one talks after lunch at the Hubei Provincial Museum, which has a large number of state-level historical 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 Doklam standoff last year. They said Modi and Xi would focus on global, regional and bilateral issues.

Also read: Power Imbalance Between India and China Has Grown Lopsided

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 dinner at a state guest house by the famous East Lake.

They will resume their one-on-one interaction tomorrow at 10 a.m (local time) with walks by the lakeside, boat ride and wind up their talks over lunch, official sources at Wuhan said.

The two leaders began their informal meetings way back in 2014 when Modi hosted Xi at Sabarmati Ashram 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 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.

Also read: Dancing With The Dragon? Deciphering India’s ‘China Reset’