Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and PM Narendra Modi (Photo: Facebook)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi will be meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan on 27 April in the first ever one-on-one ‘informal meeting’ since the 2017 Doklam crisis. The Indian Prime Minister, who reached Wuhan – the scheduled site for the meeting – post Thursday midnight, will be holding a series of talks with Xi during the two days of his stay in China.
The first of their several rounds of talks is scheduled for 3 pm. The talks will be held at Hubei Provincial Museum, where Xi will personally give a guided tour to PM Modi.
Following the tour, the two leaders will again meet at the East Lake Guest House, where Xi is staying, for a second round of talks. The delegation-level meeting will be held in the presence of six top officials from each side.
The two will be having dinner hosted by the Chinese President at the guest house.
On Saturday, Modi and Xi are scheduled to go for a boat ride and a walk by the picturesque East Lake. The two leaders will hold a series of one-to-one talks.
According to reports, the two sides will not issue any joint statement as this is an informal meeting.
The focus of the trip and the informal meeting for India and China is to reset their ties which were strained during the 73-day long Doklam military standoff.
The Prime Minister is also scheduled to address Indian students studying medicine in China.
Before his departure on Thursday night, PM Modi gave a brief outline of the discussions he will have with Xi.
“I will be visiting Wuhan, China on 27-28 April 2018 for an Informal Summit with Mr. Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China,” wrote the PM on Twitter.
“President Xi and I…will discuss our respective visions and priorities for national development, particularly in the context of current and future international situation,” he added.
“We will also review the developments in India-China relations from a strategic and long-term perspective,” he concluded in the third tweet.
The decision to hold an informal summit was taken on 22 April on the first day of Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s meeting with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
Swaraj went on to hold meetings with the Chinese vice-President Wang Qishan and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
“The informal Summit will be an important occasion for them to exchange views on bilateral and international matters from an over-arching and long-term perspective with the objective of enhancing mutual communication at the level of leaders,” Swaraj had said in a press briefing after the confirmation of the Xi-Modi summit.
In his address, Wang Yi had said that the meeting between Xi and Modi will be “a complete success and a milestone” in the relationship between the two countries.
Interestingly, the Chinese President’s decision to meet a foreign leader on Chinese soil outside of Beijing is being seen as an unprecedented gesture.
Interestingly, PM Modi has visited the major cities in each corner of China ever since he came to power.
He visited Xi’an, Beijing, Shanghai located in the west, north and east, respectively, of China during his first trip from 14-16 May 2015.
The PM also attended the G-20 Hangzhou summit from 4-5 September 2016 in Hangzhou in east and visited Xiamen in the south from 3-5 September 2017 for 9th BRICS summit.
Wuhan, in Hubei province, is located in the centre of China.