India, China to court each other at summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China’s President Xi Jinping

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China’s President Xi Jinping

Past midnight Thursday, as Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in this picturesque city of lakes, parks and gardens along the Yangtze river, the big question that followed him was this: Can he bridge the trust deficit with China, and its powerful President Xi Jinping?

Modi will first greet Xi and then get a tour of ancient Chinese artifacts at the Hubei Provincial Museum, followed by what is scheduled to be a 40-minute meeting with Xi and then dinner, according to India's foreign ministry.

The summit could also mark a significant geopolitical change as the two estranged regional powers join forces amid a growing threat of US protectionism, South China Morning Post commented. It pointed to the success of informal talks Xi had with then-US President Obama in 2013 in California.

The famous East Lake where the two leaders would spend most of the time was a favourite holiday spot for Mao.

This structured delegation-level talks is the first indication that the "informal summit" is being crafted in a calibrated and choreographed manner. Here's what to expect from the visit, which will see the two leaders in a "heart-to-heart" dialogue to build consensus and resolve long-standing issues plaguing India-China relations.

Wu said that when President Xi Jinping had visited India, he had told a story about how Tagore during a visit to China was warmly welcomed by the Chinese people.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will seek to fix strained ties at a summit on April 27-28 after the 73-day long Doklam dispute marred relations a year ago. Officials on both sides played down speculation of any agreement to be reached between the two leaders saying that no such thing was on the table. "We will discuss our respective visions and priorities for national development, particularly in the context of current and future global situation", Modi said. In these two days, they will engage with each other on various forums. Modi-Xi meeting is expected to improve bilateral ties hit by a tense border standoff in Doklam and differences over several sticky issues.

The two Asian nations experienced strained relations after a two-month military stand-off past year at a controversial site in Doklam, a disputed mountainous area along the China-India border. He is again due to visit China to take part in the SCO summit to be held at Qingdao city on June 9-10.

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