PM leaves for Wuhan for informal summit with President Xi
April 26, 2018  18:26
Prime Minister Narendra Modi today left for the central Chinese city of Wuhan for a two-day-long informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping which is expected to improve bilateral ties hit by a tense border standoff in Doklam and differences over several sticky issues.

In a pre-departure statement, Modi, without specifically mentioning about any issue, said he and President Xi will review the developments in Sino-Indian relations from a strategic and long-term perspective during the summit beginning tomorrow.

"President Xi and I will exchange views on a range of issues of bilateral and global importance. We will discuss our respective visions and priorities for national development, particularly in the context of current and future international situation," Modi said.

"We will also review the developments in the India-China relations from a strategic and long-term perspective," he further said.

Besides the Doklam standoff, relations between India and China have witnessed a nosedive over a series of other issues including China blocking India's move to get Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar banned by the United Nations, its opposition to India's bid for NSG membership. India has also been severely critical of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) as the $50 billion China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which is part of the BRI project, passes through Gilgit and Baltistan in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).

India says it cannot accept a project that ignores its core concern on sovereignty and territorial integrity.

There was no clarity on whether these issues will figure in the talks between Modi and Xi.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou on Tuesday had said the two leaders will try to reach important consensus to resolve outstanding issues and build mutual trust during their talks in Wuhan.

Sources here had said the meeting will not have an 'issue-based discussion but a strategic conversation between the two leaders to understand each other's perspective on national and international matters'.

The informal summit between Modi and Xi is taking place in the backdrop of an escalating trade dispute between China and the US and it will be keenly observed whether the issue figures in the talks between the leaders of two major economies of the world.  -- PTI
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