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History as PM Modi, Xi Jinping meet in China’s Wuhan to review bilateral ties

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will review the developments in bilateral relations from a strategic and long-term perspective, says India’s ministry of external affairs.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2018 15:44 IST
Sutirtho Patronabis
Sutirtho Patronabis
Hindustan Times, Wuhan
Xi Jinping,PM Modi,Wuhan
This handout photograph released by the external affairs ministry on April 27, 2018 shows Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Wuhan. (AFP )

Prime Minister Narendra Modi drew parallels between India and China during a one-to-one meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan on Friday afternoon.

“The culture of both India and China is based along the river banks. If we talk about Mohenjo Daro and Harappa civilizations in India, all the development happened along river banks,” he told Xi during the interaction.

Modi also praised Chinese efficiency in constructing structural landmarks across the country, citing the Three Gorges Dam on the Yangtze river as an example. “When I was the chief minister of Gujarat, I had the opportunity to visit this province. I had heard a lot about the Three Gorges Dam. The speed and scale at which you constructed it inspired me. So I came on a study tour, and spent a day at the dam,” he said.

The much-awaited summit 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 context of current and future international situation,” the Prime Minister said.

After an hour-long tour of the museum, Modi is expected to attend a private lunch hosted by the Chinese president at the East Lake villa, which was chairman Mao Zedong’s private villa. They will then 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.

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.

First Published: Apr 27, 2018 14:21 IST