Chinese, Indian Leaders to Meet for ‘Informal Summit’

Xi and Modi
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Photo: Kenzaburo Fukuhara, AFP

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet in central China this week as the Asian powers work to improve strained ties.

The two leaders will hold an “informal summit” in the city of Wuhan on Friday and Saturday, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Sunday after talks with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj.

“The summit will go a long way towards deeping the mutual trust between the two great neighbours,” Wang said.

Xi and Modi “will set a general direction, identify new goals and create a new dynamic for the growth of China-India relations. This will benefit not just our two countries and peoples, but will also have an important and positive impact on peace and development in our region and the world at large,” he added.

Swaraj said the summit will be “an important occasion for them to exchange views on bilateral and international matters, from an overarching and long term perspective, with the objective of enhancing mutual communication at the level of leaders.”

Swaraj and Wang met in Beijing before a meeting on Tuesday of foreign ministers from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), a regional security grouping spearheaded by China and Russia.

China will host an SCO summit in June. India and its arch-rival Pakistan formally joined the bloc last year and Modi is expected to attend the summit, according to Indian media.

This week’s meeting between Xi and Modi comes months after the two countries resolved a tense border standoff.

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