Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed satisfaction about his second informal meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi today, calling it a "memorable experience" that will have "far reaching impact for Chinese people". The two leaders had a 70-minute conversation at Chennai's Mamallapuram this morning but their overall one-on-one discussions since yesterday have exceeded five hours.
"Yesterday Prime Minister as you said, you and I had engaged in candid conversations like friends, heart-to-heart discussions on bilateral relations," President Xi said in his opening remarks for the delegation-level meeting. "We are really overwhelmed by your hospitality. Me and my colleagues have felt that very strongly. This will be a memorable experience for me and for us," he added.
Declaring that China and India will continue to have such informal summits, President Xi said, "Informal summit initiative (PM Modi's idea) is a good idea. We have a made a wise decision on informal summits".
He also said he looked forward to "further discussions in an in-depth manner with you and make further plans for bilateral relations".
The idea of unstructured, free-wheeling discussions was floated after PM Modi and President Xi met in Kazakh capital Astana in June 2017 for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit.
The two leaders had agreed that bilateral relationship should be a source of stability in an uncertain world and that they should not allow their differences to become disputes, foreign minister S Jaishankar had said.
In April last year, they met in Wuhan, a a picturesque Chinese lake city, months after a 73-day face-off between the armies of the two countries in Doklam.
Recalling the Wuhan meet today, President Xi said it "ushered China-India relations to a new stage of healthy and steady development" and "continues to produce visible progress and closer cooperation".
The two nations, he said, now enjoy a "deeper strategic communication and effective practical cooperation".