Wuhan: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi took an hourlong boat ride with his host Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday, the final day of an ice-breaking trip both are hoping will lead to better ties after a year of strains.
5 fundamentals of Modi
PM Narendra Modi laying out his own 5 fundamentals which, he said, now defined the relationship between the 2 countries. There was no sign of any bitterness, which has beset the relationship in the recent past, as Modi told President Xi Jinping these 5 “positives” characterising the relations were soch (thinking), sampark (contact), sahyog (cooperation), sankalp (determination) and sapne (dreams).
The meetings, according to sources, were held in the spirit of Astana Consensus that differences should not be allowed to turn into disputes. That understating was arrived at the Xi-Modi meeting last year on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Astana last year in June. Emphasising on the need to build a common understanding, Xi told Modi in a one-on-one meeting that he hoped the friendship between the 2 countries would continue to flow like the Ganges and Yangtze.
Xi later started the meeting in which both he and Modi were accompanied by a 6-member delegation by saying that there should be more such informal meetings in the near future. Modi extended an invite to Xi and expressed hope that he would visit India soon for another round of meeting in under the same format.
The engagements for the day started with a one-on-one followed by a tour of Exhibition of Marquis Yi of Zeng Cultural Relics and Treasure at Hubei Provincial Museum). Sources here said that while this meeting was supposed to last for only 20 minutes, it went on for 35 minutes.
Discussions on international relations
The meeting later at the East Lake guest house was also said to have lasted for almost 2 hours instead of the scheduled 30 minutes. While reviewing the bilateral ties, the 2 leaders also discussed the international situation with a focus on security and trade. Xi told Modi India and China were not just engines of global growth but also central pillars of the exercise to promote a “globalised and multi-polar” world. According to local media, Xi also expressed hope that the meeting would open a new chapter in ties.
Officials continued to maintain that there was no focus on any particular issue in the meetings and that the 2 leaders most discussed the “enormous” potential of the relationship. “There obviously was an acknowledgement that the relationship has been hijacked in the past few years by differences and that there was a need to focus more on the positives which could outweigh these differences,” said an official who didn’t want to be quoted.