Modi-Xi summit will look at big picture of India-China ties than specific issues

Xi and Modi will hold an "informal summit" in central China's Wuhan city from April 27 to 28 to improve bilateral relations and discuss global issues of mutual concern.

Modi-Xi summit will look at big picture of India-China ties than specific issues

BEIJING: The summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan will mostly be one-on-one where they will devote most of the time to discuss the big picture of the India-China relations rather than specific issues, official sources said on Tuesday.

Xi and Modi will hold an "informal summit" in central China's Wuhan city from April 27 to 28 to improve bilateral relations and discuss global issues of mutual concern.

They will try to work out a new paradigm for the bilateral ties bogged down with a host of disputes and differences.

Sources said that the summit is not the platform where the two leaders will discuss specific issues like the UN ban on Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terror group chief Masood Azhar and tick off one by one.

A veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has repeatedly blocked India's move to designate Azhar a global terrorist under the Al-Qaeda Sanctions Committee of the UNSC.
The two leaders will have free-flowing discussions and no agreements were expected to be signed, they said.

Also there will be few officials present at the informal summit venue.

Most of the time the two leaders were expected to interact between themselves with the presence of just translators, official sources said.

Modi was expected to arrive in Wuhan in the evening on April 26 and join Xi in the informal summit at a picturesque location the next day. Their meetings were expected to go on till mid-day of April 28 after which the Prime Minister will return, they said.

The summit is unprecedented as this is the first-time China is hosting an informal summit spanning about two days, signifying the importance it attaches to the bilateral ties bogged down with a host of issues last year including the Dokalam standoff lasting 73 days.

Though there were informal get-togethers organised by Chinese leaders with foreign dignitaries, it was part of state visits.

The idea for a such a summit was mooted when Modi and Xi met during the BRICS summit at Xiamen last year in the backdrop of the Dokalam standoff and evolved steadily over the months with high-level meetings starting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to Delhi last December.

Modelled on the 1988 ice-breaking summit between former prime minister Rajiv Gandhi and Chinese paramount leader Deng Xiaoping, the summit would look at the big picture of India-China relations.

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