Prime Minister Narendra Modi hosted Chinese President Xi Jinping in Mahabalipuram, outside Chennai, for a two-day informal summit on Friday and Saturday.
On the first day of the summit, Modi and Xi spent “quality time” as they visited majestic monuments built by the Pallava Dynasty in the seventh century, attended a cultural performance and held one-on-one discussions on trade and terrorism.
On the second day, Xi was received by Modi at the Tango Hall in Taj Fisherman’s Cove where the two held talks again. Calling it the “Chennai vision”, Modi said the summit was a “new beginning for cooperation between the two countries”. Xi said the two leaders had “heart to heart discussions” on bilateral relations.
How Chinese media covered Modi-Xi summit in Mahabalipuram:
India and China’s “ancient links” were reported in an article in China Daily, which said the venue for the summit — Mahabalipuram — was likely chosen to boost bilateral ties.
“Though the Indian authorities did not highlight why the meeting venue was selected, analysts have said that New Delhi wants to revive the stories of centuries-old trade and cultural links between China and India to boost bilateral ties amid some thorny issues in their relations as well as the changing regional and global situation,” it said.
It quoted experts as saying that the choice of venue highlighted the “untapped potential for Chinese investment in the South Asian country”.
An editorial in Global Times called the Mahabalipuram meeting “one of this year’s most anticipated summits”, and said it would “set the tone and direction for the next stage of China-India ties while providing stability and positive energy for the current world full of uncertainties”.
“We believe, guided by leaders from the two sides, ties between China and India would become a significant factor in defining international relations in the future,” the editorial added.
Global Times carried several news reports on the meeting. In one, it quoted Xi recalling the long history of exchanges between China and Tamil Nadu. The President was said, “Tamil Nadu, a maritime transit hub for cargoes in the ancient Silk Road, has a long history of exchanges with China and close connections with China on maritime trade since ancient times.”
The agency also carried a video title “Indian people shout “I love China” in which students were shown welcoming Xi to the country.
Chinese news agency Xinhua News, which carried two news reports on the Modi-Xi summit, said the Chinese President was welcomed to India by “people from all walks of life” lining the streets waving Chinese and Indian flags.
South China Morning Post
South China Morning Post described the informal summit as one with “plenty of photo opportunities and warm optics”. It said PM Modi “banked on personal chemistry to iron out the wrinkles in relations between the two nations”.
The report noted that one-on-one dinners are originally scheduled for an hour but Modi and Xi’s last nearly two and a half hours.
In the article, titled ‘Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi bank on chemistry as they talk trade and terrorism’, it was reported: “The Indian government has recently postured aggressively on cross-border terrorism, placing the blame on Pakistan, a close Chinese ally. It remains to be seen whether either side raised the topic of Kashmir, an issue that remains hotly contested by both countries.” The Indian government confirmed following the summit that Kashmir was not discussed between Modi and Xi.