Xi to visit India in 2019 for Wuhan-style informal meet

India and China have expanded on the “spirit” of the Wuhan informal summit, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday agreeing to a string of official engagements, including a fresh round of boundary talks and new mechanism to step up exchange of films.

Briefing the media after the two leaders held talks for nearly an hour on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said the meeting was “positive and forward looking and underpinned the spirit of the Wuhan summit.”

Mr. Xi accepted Mr. Modi’s invitation for another “informal summit” in India next year and described Wuhan as a “new starting point” in India-Chinarelations.

In tune with the “strategic communication” between the two leaders, China’s Defence Minister Wei Fenghe and Minister of Public Security Zhai Kezhi will meet their Indian counterparts — Nirmala Sitharaman and Home Minister Rajnath Singh — later this year.

Mr. Modi said he had detailed discussions with the Chinese President on bilateral and global issues, which would add further vigour to the India-China friendship after their “milestone” informal summit in Wuhan.

An MoU on sharing hydrological information on the Brahmaputra river by China and another pact on amendment of the protocol on phytosanitary requirements for exporting non-Basmati rice from India to China were signed after the talks.

“Met this year’s SCO host, President Xi Jinping this evening. We had detailed discussions on bilateral and global issues. Our talks will add further vigour to the India-China friendship,” Mr. Modi tweeted after the meeting.

Recalling that he and Prime Minister Modi successfully had an informal meeting and reached important consensus in Wuhan, President Xi said the meeting had been well received by both countries and the international community, and a positive atmosphere is taking shape to pay close attention to and support the development of China-India relations.

China is willing to work with India to take the Wuhan meeting as a “new starting point” to continuously enhance political mutual trust and engage in mutually beneficial cooperation across the board, to push forward China-India relations in a better, faster and steadier manner, Mr. Xi was quoted as saying by China’s Xinhua news agency. (Courtesy The Hindu)