Modi-Xi to have 'heart-to-heart' summit in Wuhan

Modi-Xi to have 'heart-to-heart' summit in Wuhan

After their first informal meeting at the Sabarmati Ashram in Gujarat in 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will have a two-day "heart-to-heart" summit from Friday at Wuhan.

Xi will be hosting Modi for an informal summit where officials say the two leaders would spend most of the time interacting with each other with one-on-one conversations focussing on global, regional and bilateral issues.

The famous East Lake in Wuhan where the two leaders would spend most of the time was a favourite holiday spot of Mao.

Modi will have meetings with Xi on Friday and Saturday, which officials say could become a game-changer if they manage to reach consensus on finding the solution to the problems, including the way forward to resolve the boundary dispute and other vexed issues that bedevilled the ties.

Ahead of the summit, China said the arrangements being made for Modi's stay in Wuhan would go beyond the expectations of the Indian side and the informal summit could be a new starting point.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou told the media this week that Modi will stay in a most comfortable place in Wuhan, without revealing the location citing security reasons.

"The two leaders will spend two days in Wuhan. In these two days, they will engage with each other on various forums. What I can tell you is that they will spend a lot of time together one-on-one," he said.

"This kind of one-on-one is not often seen in other countries," he added.

The upcoming summit will be an informal one, different from formal visits. The summit will be relaxed and friendly, he said.

The two leaders will have strategic communication on major changes in the international landscape unseen in more than 100 years, Kong said in an apparent reference to the changes taking place following US President Donald Trump's aggressive 'America First' policy threatening to undermine the process of globalisation under which India and China are the biggest beneficiaries.

They will have in-depth exchange of views on the issues of overarching long-term and strategic importance in the bilateral relations, Kong said.

Officials on both sides played down speculation of any agreement to be reached between the two leaders saying that no such thing was on the table.

Modi and Xi will try to work out a general framework for relations to move ahead without much expectations about the outcome, Indian officials said.

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