In yet another diplomatic opening, India and China announced on Sunday, April 23, that Prime Minister Narendra Modi will hold an informal summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan city in Hubei province in central-eastern China to improve the two countries' mutual understanding. The announcement was made by Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing after their bilateral talks.
Modi and Xinping haven't stopped seeing each other despite the odds
The upcoming Modi-Jinping meeting will be seen with optimism by both sides whose relations deteriorated over the Doklam standoff last year. China has also not liked the betterment of India-US ties over the past few years while India has remained unhappy over China's support to Pakistan on various issues. Nevertheless, the frequency of Modi-Jinping talks has ensured that the deterioration of relations between New Delhi and Beijing - two of the most prominent economies in these times - did not spiral out of control.
Here is a timeline of Modi's talks with Jinping -- in India and abroad - since he took over as the prime minister in May 2014. It can be mentioned here that Modi had made several visits to China even during his days as the chief minister of Gujarat and always had a high regard for the Chinese people for their discipline and hard work.
May 2014: China congratulated Modi after his emphatic win in the Lok Sabha election and vowed to work together. Later that month, China issued a statement after Modi visited Arunachal Pradesh, which the Chinese consider a disputed territory.
July 2014: Modi meets Jinping for the first time ever at the BRICS Summit in Fortaleza in Brazil. The two leaders interacted for almost an hour and a half. Xi invited Modi to attend the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing in November that year.
September 2014: Modi welcomed Xi Jinping and his spouse Peng Liyuan in Ahmedabad, Gujarat. Modi spent time with the Chinese couple, strolling on the banks of the Sabarmati River. China promised investments in India worth $20 billion over the next five years. This meeting happened even as the two neighbours continued with their face-off at the Ladakh border after Chinese soldiers allegedly crossed over into the Indian territory.
November 2014: Modi declined to visit China for the APEC summit; government sources cited his overloaded schedule of foreign trips as he was also travelling to Myanmar, Australia and Fiji around that time. Reports, however, also said that Modi did not decline any invite because there was no such invitation at all. They said the Indian PM was invited to attend a pre-Apec meeting. India is not a member of the Apec group.
May 2015: Modi visited China for the first time as the prime minister. He reached Xian, the hometown of Xi in Shaanxi province on the latter's invitation, first in what is believed to be a reciprocation of the Chinese president's Ahmedabad visit. Modi and Xi held summit-level talks in this city. Modi later visited Beijing and Shanghai.
July 2015: Modi met Xi in Ufa, Russia, ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and BRICs summits. Modi said the regular meetings between him and Xi showed the depth of the relations that India and China shared.
June 2016: Modi met Xi on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Tashkent in Uzbekistan. There, Modi raised the issue of India's access to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, urging Xi to consider India's application on its own merit.
September 2016: Modi-Xi talks were held on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hangzhou in Zhejiang province in east China. The two leaders met amid differences between the two countries over various issues, including the controversial China- Pakistan Economic Corridor which runs through Pak occupied Kashmir.
October 2016: PM Modi met President Xi on the occasion of the BRICS Summit in Goa. Here, Modi raised the issue of Pakistan-backed terror in the wake of the horrific attack on an army camp in Uri in Jammu & Kashmir in September 2016 but China refused to buy India's line to corner Pakistan on the question of terror.
June 2017: Modi-Xi meeting was held on the sidelines of SCO meeting in Astana in Kazakhstan amid China's continued resistance to India's NSG membership bid.
July 2017: Modi and Xi exchanged pleasantries at the G20 summit in Hamburg, Germany, even as the troops of the two countries locked horns over Doklam at the border.
September 2017: Modi made his third trip to China as the prime minister for the ninth BRICS summit held in Xiamen in Fujian province in south-eastern China. The two leaders spoke for over an hour to send the message that both countries were looking to reset their ties in the wake of the Doklam standoff.