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Modi in China: Boat ride, lakeside dinner on cards at PM's meet with Xi Jinping

By Deepika
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    A one-on-one meeting, a tour of one of the best-known museums of China, dinner by a picturesque lakeside followed by talks with top officials would mark the two-day unprecedented informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping beginning in Wuhan from Friday.

    Photo credit: @PMOIndia

    PM Modi, who on Thursday night arrived in Wuhan, the capital of the Chinese province of Hubei, begins his meetings with President Xi at 3:30 pm local time on Friday at the Hubei Provincial Museum.

    The meeting comes in the backdrop of the efforts made by both India and China to move past the tensions, which rose out of last year's 73-day Doklam standoff.

    Billed as 'heart-to-heart' summit aimed at evolving consensus between the two leaders to look for solutions to some of the most contentious issues including the border dispute bedevilling the two countries, Modi and Xi will begin their marathon one-on-one talks after lunch.

    They will initially visit the Hubei Provincial Museum here which has a large number of state-level historic and cultural relics.

    It will be followed by talks between the two leaders accompanied by six top officials from each side. The two will have one-on-one dinner at the famous East Lake, a favourite holiday destination of China's revolutionary leader Mao Zedong.

    On Saturday, they will resume their one-on-one interaction at 10 a.m (local time) with walks by the lake side, boat ride and wind up their talks over lunch, official sources here said.

    The two leaders began their informal meetings way back in 2014 when Xi was hosted by Modi at the Sabarmati Ashram of Mahatma Gandhi in Gujarat. They have met and interacted with each other in about a dozen international meetings since then.

    But this will be their "heart-to-heart" informal summit. There will be no agreement signed or a joint statement issued.

    It is a summit, according to the officials, to forge consensus to resolve the issues with follow up actions by officials than announcing any agreements. This is something the leaders of the two countries have never tried so far, they said.

    The two leaders will have strategic communication on the major changes in the international landscape unseen in more than 100 years, Kong said in an apparent reference to major changes taking place following US President Donald Trump's aggressive 'America First' policy threatening to undermine the process of globalisation under which India and China are the biggest beneficiaries.

    They will have in-depth exchange of views on the issues of overarching long-term and strategic importance in the bilateral relations, Kong said.

    Conceived on the lines of the 1988 ice-breaking visit to China undertaken by the then prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and his far-reaching talks with China's paramount leader Deng Xiaoping setting a new tone for the relations post-1962 war, Xi-Modi dialogue at Wuhan was aimed at a working a new paradigm for the bilateral relations for the next 15 years, Indian officials said.

    It is a leadership driven summit providing a leadership is driven direction and a way forward to more stable bilateral ties, they added.

    OneIndia News (with PTI inputs)

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