PM Modi, Xi Jinping meet in China to review bilateral ties

Beijing—Prime Minister Narendra Modi sat down for a one-to-one meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Hubei Provincial Musuem in Wuhan on Friday afternoon.

The much-awaited informal interaction began soon after Modi arrived at the museum, established in 1953, to a rousing welcome around 1 pm. Dancers in colourful traditional costumes performed for the two leaders as a live band played traditional tunes.

Ahead of his departure for China, Modi had told mediapersons that he and Xi will “review the developments in India-China relations from a strategic and long-term perspective” during their interaction. “We will also discuss our respective visions and priorities for national development, in the context of current and future international situations,” the Prime Minister said.

After an hour-long tour of the museum, Modi is expected to attend a private dinner hosted by the Chinese president at the East Lake villa, which was chairman Mao Zedong’s private villa. The leaders will also go for a boat ride on the East Lake, China’s second largest urban lake, and then take a walk along its banks.

Heavy security has been imposed around East Lake as well as Modi’s hotel in view of his visit. Mao’s villa has also been closed to tourists for the occasion. Wuhan used to be the favourite holiday spot of revolutionary Chinese leader Mao Zedong.

The summit is being seen as an effort by India and China to rebuild trust and improve ties that were hit by the 73-day-long Doklam standoff last year. “The two leaders will review the developments in our bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective,” said external affairs ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar.

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