India to host next ‘informal summit’ in 2019, to defrost the icy relationship between India-China

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Next informal summit to bridge the trust deficit between India China

New Delhi: MNN:The India China informal summit is being viewed as an attempt to defrost the icy relationship.

The India China relationship developed following the 73-day long Doklam standoff, which ended last August.

Attempting to bridge the trust deficit with China, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday told Chinese President Xi Jinping that he will be happy to host the next informal summit in India next year.

His comments came during delegation-level talks with President Xi in Hubei.

“I hope such informal summits become a tradition between both the countries.

I’ll be happy, if in 2019, we can have such informal summit in India,” PM Modi was quoted as saying by ANI.

The Chinese President has not hosted any leader in an “informal summit”, which is how the Xi-Modi meeting has been described.

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In fact, Xi has travelled out of Beijing to central China to spend over two days with the Indian PM, the first time he is extending such a gesture to a visiting foreign leader.

“The people of India feel really proud that I’m the first Prime Minister of India, for whom,

Chinese President have come out of the capital twice to receive me,” Modi told the Chinese President.

On his part, Chinese President Xi told PM Modi that he hopes their meeting opens a new chapter for bilateral ties, Reuters quoting state radio as saying.

Both leaders exchanged views on “solidifying” the India-China relationship as they embarked on an unprecedented two-day informal summit in Wuhan.

PM Modi, who landed in the central Chinese city early today for the informal summit.

PM Modi began talks soon after President Xi hosted a grand welcoming ceremony

The informal summit is being viewed as an attempt to defrost the icy relationship that developed between India and China due to the 73-day long Doklam standoff, which ended last August.

And the much awaited Informal Summit gets underway! PM @narendramodi warmly welcomed by Chinese President Xi on his arrival at Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan.

The two leaders had a one-on-one meeting during which they exchanged views on solidifying our bilateral relationship,” Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

Kumar said they will review the developments in the bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective during their meetings.

Modi and Xi shook hands and posed for photographs before witnessing a cultural programme at Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan.

The two leaders have met at least 10 times over the last four years, but this was their first meeting since Xi has been re-elected, with the Constitutional limit for a presidential term done away with.

Modi and Xi will again meet for dinner at the guest house Friday evening.

Some of Friday’s meetings were attended by senior officials, including National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.

But Saturday will see the two leaders meeting mostly in a one-on-one format, including a “lakeside walk” and a “boat-ride”.

The leaders will also travel on a ferry, where they will “discuss issues over a cup of tea”.

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