Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold a two-day informal summit from April 27 in Wuhan, to impart firm strategic direction to Beijing-New Delhi ties, amid profound changes in the global system.
The expected re-set after last year’s Doklam standoff comes amid a larger conversation within Asia on the need to realign ties with Beijing in view of the growing protectionism in the United States.
“The leaders will reach a strategic conclusion about the global situation and the development of China and India. They will also set the general course, identify new goals and create a new dynamic for the growth of China-India relations,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said in his prepared remarks at the end of talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday.
Mr. Wang said: “We will make sure that the informal summit will be a complete success and a new milestone in the history of India-China relations.”
Elaborating on the global significance of the meeting in the Central Chinese city of Wuhan, Mr. Wang stressed that the international situation is “undergoing profound change, and China and India are growing rapidly and simultaneously.”
“This makes for a more balanced international geometry and a stronger trend towards peace.”
In the backdrop of the Doklam crisis, Prime Minister Modi had expressed the urgency of opening a broader strategic dialogue with China during the Xiamen summit of the BRICS countries in September.
“It had become evident that China and India had overlapping interests in South Asia, the Indian Ocean and the Indo-Pacific.
There was therefore an urgency to align our world views through a broader across-the-board dialogue,” the source said.
No pre-set agenda
The official said that while a free-flowing conversation without a pre-set agenda between the two principals at the Wuhan retreat was expected, Mr. Modi, in the past, had expressed particular interest in two broad themes: a final settlement of the India-China boundary, and collaboration between India and China for the fruitful emergence of an “Asian century.”
Ms. Swaraj said that “as two major countries and large emerging economies, healthy development of India-China relations is important for the emergence of an Asian century.” She also highlighted the international importance of the summit, pointing out that Mr. Modi and Mr. Xi will “exchange views on bilateral and international matters from an overarching and long-term perspective with the objective of enhancing mutual communication.”
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