- PM Modi, Xi Jinping attend 2-day 'informal summit' in China's Wuhan
- Attend series of private meetings aimed to reset ties after rough year
- Concludes with key message that dialogue at highest level should go on
Today, the two leaders walked along the banks of East Lake and also took a boat ride together as they decided to step up their personal rapport to add heft at the highest levels to try and fix a relationship that reached its lowest ebb last year during the 73-day military standoff in Doklam.
Significantly, the militaries of both countries will be instructed to lower tensions that exist along the contentious boundary between the two countries. Prime Minister Modi and President Xi "issued strategic guidance to their respective militaries to strengthen communication in order to build trust and mutual understanding and enhance predictability and effectiveness in the management of border affairs," said Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.
There were six rounds of meetings between PM Modi and Mr Xi, both at the level of bilateral delegations and one-on-one meetings, where the two leaders were accompanied by only their interpreters. "Prime Minister Modi and President Xi reviewed developments in India-China relations from the strategic and long-term perspective" said the Foreign Secretary who added that both countries have "agreed to significantly enhance efforts to build on the convergences through the established mechanisms in order to create the broadest possible platform for the future relationship."
A clear indication of the progress being made in these talks came in the local newspapers this morning. Media organisations in China are either state-sponsored or following an official brief. Several newspapers carried large photographs and articles on the summit, some placing news of the meetings ahead of the historic meeting between North Korea's Kim Jong Un and the South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between the two countries.
Prime Minister Modi next meets President Xi next month in China for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meeting though the next informal summit like this between Mr Modi and Mr Xi will take place in India next year.