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Modi arrives in Wuhan for talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Wuhan in China late Thursday night for a two-day informal summit with President Xi Jinping.

Mr. Modi is due to hold a one-to-one meeting with Mr. Xi.

“A special moment past midnight as PM @narendramodi was warmly welcomed in Wuhan for the 1st Informal Summit with Chinese President Xi. The two leaders will review the developments in our bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

Both leaders are expected to define a pathway that could transform the ties into a major force for tackling global problems.

The ambitious undertaking hopes to realign the underlying premises of the ties, so that festering irritants are removed, and the two countries can work together to fulfill common global aspirations.

Meeting in Mao Zedong’s villa

They will meet in the villa that was once Mao Zedong’s retreat. The property — a total of three buildings--at the bank of the East Lake of Wuchang-- is set amid pine, bamboo and plum trees. A boat ride by the two principals or a walk among the pines is expected during the two-day event.

In a statement released ahead of his departure to Wuhan, Mr. Modi underscored that both leaders, during their coming dialogue, would be looking at the big picture.

Discussions on “a range of issues of bilateral and global importance,” would be shaped by the “visions and priorities for national development, particularly in the context of the current and future international situation,” the statement said.

It also highlighted that during the talks, both countries would take a long view of their ties. “We will also review the developments in the India-China relations from a strategic and long-term perspective.”

Border dispute

Diplomatic sources said that the two leaders, in their free-wheeling dialogue, would discuss the border row, and look for underlying principles to resolve it.

“This time the two sides have decided to hold the informal summit between the two leaders. This is because both our countries attach great importance to each other on external strategy and not because of boundary question that still remains unresolved, and we need talk about it during the informal summit,” Chinese vice foreign minister Kong Xuanyou said at a media briefing on Tuesday.

Analysts say that China may be gradually shifting its position from “managing” and shelving the border issue, to a fledgling stance of resolving the border dispute. Such a position would align well with Mr. Modi’s approach of seeking a final resolution of the boundary dispute.

Both leaders are also expected to discuss the issue of Tibet, which is central to the “one-China” principle. “The Tibetan issue is a very sensitive and serious topic for President Xi Jinping. China cannot tolerate any movement towards Tibetan separatism,” says Professor Long Xingchun of China West Normal University in Sichuan, in a conversation with The Hindu.

(With inputs from Atul Aneja)


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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 10:16:13 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pm-modi-arrives-in-wuhan-for-talks-with-xi-jinping/article23691215.ece

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