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Chinese foreign ministry website mentions little about Wuhan talks; was Beijing serious?

By Shubham

The just concluded meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan in central-eastern China's Hubei province generated a lot of interest in the political and media circles. It was a comprehensive meeting between the two heads of government in the wake of the Doklam military standoff in 2017 and hopes were rekindled that two neighbours brought their relations back on the track.

Chinese foreign ministry website mentions little about Wuhan talks; was Beijing serious?

However, since the Wuhan talks were called informal, did China literally take them with less seriousness?

If one visits the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, one can not find any notable coverage of the Wuhan meetings. One can only find an opinion article written by Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui in Hindustan Times titled 'India-China cooperation outweighs our differences'hanging at the end of the site's home page. Even the 'China and India' section under 'Countries in the region' sub-topic of the website wasn't updated beyond 2013 which means none of PM Modi's frequent meetings with Jinping were mentioned in the space dedicated to the two nations' bilateral relations.

But when we see the website of the Ministry of External Affairs of India, it gives a broad coverage about the Modi-Jinping talks through slideshows, reports, transcripts, translations, media briefings and press releases. There was no doubt that New Delhi took the summit-like talk more seriously than Beijing.

India and China agreed on a number of issues during the Wuhan meeting which had no fixed agenda and touched upon issues that the two leaders thought about freely. The issues they touched upon included border tension, counter terrorism, trade, people-to-people relations, cooperation in country like Afghanistan, etc.

But with Beijing giving little space to the event on its official foreign policy website, does it mean that the net outcome of the meeting, deemed so important by the Indian side, would make little difference to the status quo?

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