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PM Modi leaves for China to attend informal summit, says will review ties from strategic perspective

"President Xi and I will exchange views on a range of issues of bilateral and global importance. We will also review the developments in the India-China relations from a strategic and long-term perspective," Modi said in a tweet.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: April 26, 2018 6:22:03 pm
PM Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping to meet on April 27 & 28 in Wuhan The informal summit marks Modi’s fourth visit to China since he assumed power in 2014 and a second bilateral visit. (File)

Before departing for China to attend a two-day informal meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said his top-most priority would be reviewing the developments in relations between the two countries from a strategic and long-term perspective. Modi left for Wuhan on Thursday afternoon and will have a one-on-one ‘open-ended meeting’ with the Chinese president to weed out sticky issues that have crept in between the two Asian giants since the past year, starting with the 73-day Doklam standoff.

“President Xi and I will exchange views on a range of issues of bilateral and global importance. We will also review the developments in the India-China relations from a strategic and long-term perspective,” Modi said in a tweet. The PM further said the discussions would also be held on issues reflecting on the current and future global situation. “We will discuss our respective visions and priorities for national development, particularly in the context of current and future international situation,” the PM said.

The groundwork for rapprochement with China had begun two months ago, when foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale sent out a note asking senior leaders and government functionaries of the Centre and states to stay away from events planned to mark 60 years in exile of the Dalai Lama.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping during last year’s BRICS Summit in Xiamen. (File)

The final touches to the informal summit was given during External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj’s meeting with Chinese State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi in Beijing last Sunday on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) foreign ministers meet. The informal summit marks Modi’s fourth visit to China since he assumed power in 2014 and a second bilateral visit.

READ| India and China: Over to the leaders

Chinese deputy Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said the two leaders would try to reach important consensus to resolve outstanding issues and build mutual trust during their talks in Wuhan, PTI reported. Besides the border row, there are a range of issues that have seen India and China cross hairs.

India is yet to enter the Nuclear Suppliers Group and needs China’s nod. Moreover, Beijing has repeatedly blocked India’s application at the UN to declare Pakistan-based Masood Azhar as a global terrorist. Xi’s ambitious Belt and Road project is another sticking point as India has till now kept away from being part of the project.

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