Modi holds talks with China's Xi, offers to host 2019 summit
27 April 2018
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese president Xi Jinping on Friday opened their two-day informal talks during which the two countries are expected to resolve a host of issues, including trade, the border stand-off and China’s Belt and Road initiative.
Modi who arrived in China on Thursday night for the informal summit with Xi in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, is leading a high-level delegation, although the two are unlikely to make any official declarations after the summit.
Prime Minister Modi said the two countries have a lot to gain by working together and that he would be happy to host the next informal summit between the nations in India.
Since the talks are informal, no agreement is expected to be signed and, according to media reports, there might also not be any joint statement by the two leaders at the end of this summit.
Modi, who arrived at the Hubei Provincial Museum at around 3:30 pm, was warmly greeted by Xi. Both leaders took a tour of the site for about an hour, during which Modi also visited an exhibition of Marquis Yi of Zeng cultural relics and treasure.
The prime minister said that the summit was aimed at "furthering India-China cooperation."
"India and China's cultural connect goes back many centuries and is reflected in present times through the popularity of Bollywood, Yoga and other aspects of Indian culture," MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said while sharing visuals of the cultural programme at Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan. Modi also rang the 'Bianzhong', an ancient musical bell at the exhibition.
In his opening remarks, Modi emphasised the global leadership role for both nations, whom he described as "two major powers".
"We represent over 40 per cent of the world's population, so this is a meet between two major world players," Modi said, about the importance of the summit between the two leaders. "The economies of India and China have given shape to the global economy for 1,600 years," he added.
Modi also thanked Xi for the "warm welcome" he received in Wuhan. "I am thankful to Chinese president for the grand welcome and the fruitful talks," Modi said during delegation-level talks with Xi in Hubei.
"The people of India feel really proud that I'm the first prime minister of India, for whom, you (Chinese president) have come out of the capital twice to receive me," he added.
During the talks, Modi also proposed a joint global leadership based on a new 'panchsheel'. "The five positive elements of this relationship are thought, communication, support, commitment and shared vision. These can be the basis for world peace and stability," Modi said.
"China talks about a new era and I am working for a new India. World peace is important and both India and China have to work for the same and make all possible contributions," he added.
Meanwhile, reports said China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) also struck a positive note with PLA's senior colonel Wu Qian saying that it is a "common wish" of both sides to stabilise the relations between the Chinese and Indian armed forces.
"Although the relations between the two militaries still face some difficulties and obstacles, we are willing to use the important consensus of the leaders of the two countries as guidelines to deepen our understanding, increase mutual trust, make proper differences, and continuously accumulate the positive energy of the healthy and stable development of the relations between the two militaries," The Economic Times quoted Wu as saying.