Prime Minister Narendra Modi and visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday held “productive” discussions as a part of the second India-China informal summit in Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu. In their talks, both are looking forward to mapping a new pathway for bilateral ties between the two nations over the next few decades despite having a series of nuisances that have turned up.
This is the third meet between the two leaders since Modi’s re-election as the PM in May, and the sixth since their first inform summit in Wuhan last April.
The India-China partnership
Modi welcomed Xi on his arrival in Mamallapuram in a traditional veshti, a white shirt, and an angavastram.
PM Modi took Xi to three historical monuments that date back to the Pallava era (4th-9th century CE), in the coastal city- Panch Rathas, Arjuna’s Penance, and the Shore Temple. The primary reason for selecting Mamallapuram was to focus on the ties between the Pallava kings and China’s Fujian province, where Xi served a governer once.
Before sitting down for a round of talks on the lawns of the Shore Temple, the two leaders witnessed a cultural program at the temple. The discussions between both aimed at building on the relationship reset that began in Wuhan the previous year. He later hosted a private dinner for the Chinese President that concluded the program on Friday.
People familiar with the visit stated that the summit’s informal structure helped provide a comfortable and relaxed setting for the leaders to meet & address where they see India-China relations going over the next several decades. The broad agenda included their trade, unresolved border dispute, and person-to-person contacts besides global and regional issues.
Raveesh Kumar, the foreign ministry spokesperson, tweeted,
“PM @narendramodi & Chinese President Xi continued their exchange of views on deepening of the India-China partnership over a breathtaking Kalakshetra cultural performance followed by dinner.”
Series of irritants clouding the summit
Sun Weidong, the Chinese ambassador to India, said that a “new set of consensus” that includes “guiding principles” on giving a new direction to the bilateral ties were expected after the summit.
A series of irritants clouded the Fri-Sat summit, including a statement given by Xi stating to Pakistan’s PM Imran Khan that he was observing the situation in Kashmir and would support the nation on issues related to its core interests.
Kumar stated that India has termed Kashmir as an internal matter and has issued a sharp response to Xi’s comments. He added that other countries should refrain from commenting on the internal affairs of India.
Xi plans to spend less than 24 hours in India, after which he will be laying over in Nepal for a visit on his way back to Beijing.