India's Modi Invites China's Xi for an Informal Summit in 2019

India's Modi Invites China's Xi for an Informal Summit in 2019”

While Mr Modi threw in the invitation for the next summit in India, Mr Xi said that he expected to meet with the Indian leader subsequently too - perhaps giving Mr Modi a soft boost as elections approach in India.

In addition, he said that China did not think it was important whether India accepted China's Belt and Road infrastructure project and China would not force it to.

This decision was taken during the second day of "informal" talks between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and China's President Xi Jinping in Wuhan on Saturday. He also pointed out that Xi had said the problems between the two sides "are of a limited, temporary nature".

"They [Modi and Xi] agreed that both sides have the maturity and wisdom to handle the differences through peaceful discussion within the context of the overall relationship, bearing in mind the importance of respecting each other's sensitivities, concerns and aspirations", Gokhale said.

Terming the informal meeting between Mr. Xi and Mr. Modi "a success and a milestone", Mr. Kong said, this meeting was not meant to solve specific problems, but the main aim was to strengthen communication exchanges, provide strategic guidance to the relations, and increase mutual trust between the leaders. Though sources did not give more details about the project, the move is certain to irk Pakistan which resents India's presence in the strife-torn South Asian nation. "Positive communication among great powers has injected positive factors into regional and world peace and stability", he said.

The two leaders directed their militaries to earnestly implement various confidence building measures agreed upon between the two sides, including the principle of mutual and equal security, and strengthen existing institutional arrangements and information sharing mechanisms to prevent incidents in border regions. This will be a first such project in Afghanistan.

While last year's high-altitude standoff in the Himalayas has been resolved, the world's most populous countries have a long history of mistrust.

From June to August a year ago, a 72-day military standoff happened between Chinese and Indian troops in Doklam, and was close to war. "Strong India-China friendship is beneficial for the people of our nations and the entire world", Modi said.

Xi said that the two countries have forged a closer development partnership and made progress on exchanges and cooperation in various fields.

India and China seem to have dusted off an old proposal for a joint economic project in war-torn Afghanistan, showcasing their ability to cooperate at a time the United States is trying to prop up New Delhi as a counterweight to Beijing in the Indo-Pacific. The issues they touched upon included border tension, counter terrorism, trade, people-to-people relations, cooperation in country like Afghanistan, etc.

The talks between PM Modi and Xi focused on diverse areas of India-China cooperation.

Kong acknowledged that China and India have concrete differences but noted the "summit was not aimed at addressing these specific issues".

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