Wuhan: Prime Minister Narendra Modi took a tour of a museum with President Xi Jinping followed by a 40-minute "informal" meeting between the two leaders on Friday, the first day of an ice-breaking visit to China in which the giant neighbours will seek to re-set a troubled relationship.
- PM Modi, Xi Jinping to have possibly their most wide-ranging talks ever
- Talks to start Friday at Hubei Provincial Museum, continue on Saturday
- Xi to host dinner for PM, walk with him around a lake, take boat ride
PM Modi is only spending about 24 hours in the central Chinese city of Wuhan, just months after Doklam standoff.
On Saturday, both leaders are expected to spend more time together in one-on-one talks with just interpreters accompanying the two leaders.
Prime Minister Modi and President Xi will walk along the banks of a lake and take a ride on a boat together in an effort to try and cement the strong chemistry they had developed in earlier summit meetings.
Both Indian and Chinese officials are keen to stress that the entire two-day summit is entirely informal with no fixed agenda whatsoever.
Ahead of his departure, the PM said in a statement, "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."
There may not be any joint statement at the end of the talks and neither side wants to be bogged down by outstanding issues which remain a thorn in equations between the two nations. This includes the fallout of the 73-day Doklam standoff of last year when the armies of both countries stood eyeball-to-eyeball in a high altitude area claimed by Bhutan but occupied by China.
Similarly, India has concerns about its sovereignty being affected by the China Pakistan Economic Corridor that passes through Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. Beijing has also blocked India's entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group and has avoided declaring Hafiz Saeed a globally designated terrorist.