Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping meeting on the sidelines of SCO summit in Bishkek in June 2019 (file photo)
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping meeting on the sidelines of SCO summit in Bishkek in June 2019 (file photo)

Ahead of second informal summit, here is a look at Modi-Xi engagements since Wuhan

ANI | Updated: Oct 10, 2019 20:56 IST

New Delhi [India], Oct 10 (ANI): The first-of-its-kind informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Wuhan last year set the ball rolling for a closer understanding between the two countries and highlighted the exceptional relationship shared by the two leaders.
The talks were held in a relaxed and open environment in the picturesque Chinese city from April 27 to 28 in 2018.
As the two leaders gear up for a second informal summit, this time in the historic coastal city of Mahabalipuram from October 11 to 12, here's a look at the five occasions where Modi and Xi met since Wuhan.
(i) Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit in Qingdao (June 9 to 10, 2018):
Prime Minister Modi attended the meeting of the Council of Heads of State (CHS) of SCO. The meeting, chaired by Xi, had a total of 22 outcome documents that were signed including the Joint Communique and Appeal to Youth against radicalization, according to the Ministry of External Affairs.
Apart from attending the CHS, the two leaders also held bilateral talks in Qingdao, just six weeks after the first informal summit, taking the Wuhan spirit forward.
They discussed a blueprint for deepening India-China ties and reviewed the implementation of decisions taken in Wuhan.
"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," Modi had tweeted following the meeting.Two agreements were signed after the bilateral, including one MoU on sharing hydrological information of the Brahmaputra river and another pact on amendment of protocol on phytosanitary requirements for exporting rice from India to China.
(ii) 10th BRICS summit, Johannesburg (July 25 to 27, 2018):
The two leaders again rubbed shoulders at the 10th BRICS summit in Johannesburg, over a month after their last engagement in Qingdao.
They also held a bilateral, during which Xi and Modi "reaffirmed their readiness to give the necessary direction to their militaries to enhance communications between them to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas," according to Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale.
The Wuhan summit played a major role in normalising India-China ties after the 72-day long standoff between troops of the two countries at Doklam Plateau in 2017.
The incident was triggered by the Chinese side trying to undertake construction work in the trijunction area India, China, and Bhutan border. After several rounds of negotiations, India and China decided to mutually disengage.
(iii) The 2018 G20 Buenos Aires summit (November 30 to December 1, 2018):
In Buenos Aires, the Prime Minister and the President met at least thrice on the sidelines of the G20 summit. This included a bilateral, the BRICS Leaders' Informal Meeting and the RIC (Russia, India, China) Informal Summit on November 30 last year.
At the RIC, "The three leaders agreed to have regular consultations at all levels to jointly promote international and regional peace and stability, to strengthen cooperation through BRICS, SCO and EAS mechanisms, to address global challenges such as terrorism and climate change, and to encourage peaceful resolution of all differences," according to an official press release.
During the bilateral, the two leaders hailed 2018 as a good year for bilateral ties and proclaimed that 2019 would be better.
"Both leaders said they felt the border management has improved," Gokhale said following the meeting. Modi had also told Xi that he looked forward to hosting him for the second informal summit, which will be held in Mahabalipuram from October 11 to 12.
(iv) SCO Summit in Bishkek (June 13 to 14, 2019):
Prime Minister Modi met Xi on the sidelines of the SCO Summit, in Bishkek on June 13. The two sides discussed the way to strengthen bilateral relations, in what was Modi's first meeting with Xi after receiving a thumping mandate in the 2019 General Elections for a second term.
"Deepening friendship with China. PM @narendramodi's first meeting on the sidelines of the SCO Summit is with President Xi Jinping. Both leaders are discussing ways to further strengthen bilateral relations," the PMO had tweeted following the meeting.
Even though the meeting was supposed to be for 20 minutes, it went on for longer, according to the Foreign Secretary.
"Both the leaders had a very warm and a very cordial discussion on a range of subjects. President Xi Jinping congratulated the Prime Minister for his victory in the general election and he said that this was reflective of the aspirations and the trust that the people of India had placed on the Prime Minister," Gokhale said.
Modi and Xi also agreed that there is a new momentum in the bilateral relationship since the Wuhan Summit in April last year.
The two leaders also talked about trade during the meeting.
"There was also a brief discussion on the boundary issue. The two leaders have asked the Special Representatives to meet and carry forward the discussion and have instructed them to expedite discussions in this regard for achieving a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the boundary question," Gokhale said.
Modi also conveyed to China that the efforts he had made with regard to Pakistan had been derailed.
"The Prime Minister did inform President Xi Jinping that Pakistan needs to create an atmosphere free of terrorism and that at this stage we did not see this happening as yet. And that therefore we expect Pakistan to take concrete action on the issues that India has proposed in the areas of concerns that we have flagged to Pakistan, that Pakistan should take concrete action in this regard," Gokhale had said.
This meeting between the two came in the backdrop of the blacklisting of Jaish chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist following the deadly Pulwama terror attack. China, who had been stonewalling the blacklisting in what was viewed as its support to its "iron brother" Pakistan, removed its technical hold on the proposal, paving the way for Masood to be proscribed. India had lost 40 CRPF personnel in the gruesome Pulwama terror attack whose responsibility was claimed by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed, helmed by Masood.
(v) 2019 G20 Osaka summit (June 28 to 29, 2019):
Just two weeks after their engagements in Bishkek, the two met again in Osaka for the G20 summit this year. On the sidelines of their G20 engagements, Modi and Xi took part in the informal meeting between Russia, India, and China (RIC), along with participating in the BRICS Leaders Informal Meeting on June 28.
During the RIC meeting, the three countries agreed to maintain the trend of globalization, the liberalization of trade, of a free trading system, an open trading system, a rules-based trading system, to oppose the tendency towards protectionism and to give a proper direction to WTO reform, according to the MEA.
The leaders also touched upon safeguarding international and regional peace and security through consultations and peaceful negotiations. (ANI)

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