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Sushma Swaraj meets Xi Jinping, stresses need to learn each other’s language

The announcement of the informal summit comes in the backdrop of increased diplomatic interaction between India and China as both countries work towards a reset of ties after relations strained recently.

Written by ZEESHAN SHAIKH | Beijing | Published: April 24, 2018 3:11:30 am
Beijing: Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping at meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing Monday. PTI Photo

A day after it was announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet in an “informal summit” on April 27 and 28 in Wuhan in central China, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Monday met the top Chinese leadership, including President Xi and Vice-President Wang Qishan in Beijing.

Swaraj, who is in China to attend the Shanghai Cooperation Organisations (SCO) foreign ministers’ meeting, called on the Chinese President along with other participating ministers at the Great Hall of People.  Earlier in the day, Swaraj met Vice President Qishan at Zhongnanhai in Beijing.

The announcement of the informal summit comes in the backdrop of increased diplomatic interaction between India and China as both countries work towards a reset of ties after relations strained recently. Even as both sides carried on with preparations for the summit, Chinese Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi also met his Pakistan counterpart Khwaja Muhammad Asif and asserted China’s continued support to Pakistan.

The Pakistan Foreign Minister said Pakistan was happy that India and China were holding informal meetings. “We believe that this will play an active role in regional peace and improvement of relations between countries.” Asif said.
Swaraj on Monday also met the Foreign Ministers of Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan and discussed ways of strengthening bilateral cooperation with the central Asian nations.

She attended a programme titled ‘Contribution of Hindi in India-China Friendship’ organised by the India Embassy in which she asked Indians and Chinese to learn each other’s language as it will help them overcome communication barriers. “I want to say that the way India and China’s relations are strengthening, trade is increasing, we are working together on international forums, it has become increasingly important that you learn Hindi and we learn Chinese,” Swaraj said.

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