NEWS
27/04/2018 12:27 PM IST | Updated 27/04/2018 2:18 PM IST

As Modi Lands In China For 'Informal Meets' With Xi Jinping, 'Building Mutual Trust' Seems To Be Top Priority

The two leaders are expected to have six meetings over two days.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi landed in China's Wuhan city late on Thursday and is set to hold six meetings with his Chinese counter part Xi Jinping over Friday and Saturday.

In what is being termed as an 'informal summit', hosted for the first time by Jinping, the two leaders are likely to discuss bilateral and global issues.

PM Modi, ahead of his visit, said that India-China relations will also be discussed.

The Times of India reported that apart from one-on-one meetings on Friday, the two leaders will have at least two meetings where they will be accompanied by a six-member delegation from each side. This will be followed by a dinner hosted by Jinping at the East Lake Guest House in Wuhan.

However, reports suggest that a joint statement from these meetings is unlikely.

On Saturday, the two leaders will have more one-on-one meetings with a walk along the banks of a lake and a boat ride, reported NDTV.

The meeting of the two leaders are an effort to 'bridge the gap' in Sino-Indian relations after the 73-day Doklam standoff, say experts.

Both sides have called this is a strictly informal meet. Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou said on Tuesday that the boundary question is as yet unresolved and will be part of the discussions.

"This time the two sides have decided to hold the informal summit between the two leaders," he said. "This is because both our countries attach great importance to each other on external strategy and not because of boundary question that still remains unresolved, and we need talk about it during the informal summit."

Reports suggest that both leaders will try to work on ways to co-exist in peace through a "modus vivendi".

The Indian Express quoted an unnamed source saying that both India and China had reached a "tipping point".

"China has now emerged as a hegemonic power and has been stepping on our toes repeatedly," the source reportedly told the newspaper. "We are competing with each other everywhere, from South Asia to Africa, from Southeast Asia to Indo-Pacific. There is a realisation that both sides have reached a tipping point."

Last year, the relations between India and China were considerably strained during the 73-day Doklam standoff. It made headlines in 2017 when reports emerged that China had increased military presents in the are by setting up posts in the disputed area between China, Bhutan and Sikkim.

This had added to the already existing border disputes between the two countries in Aksai Chin that they have tried to settle since the 1980s.

Dialogue about these disputes would be on the agenda, Kong had said earlier this week. "At the informal summit, the two leaders will have heart-to-heart discussions on overarching issues and try to build mutual trust and consensus to resolve outstanding differences," he had said.