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Trust on the agenda as Modi, Xi meet today at Mao’s villa in Wuhan

Officials said both Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping, who will meet without any pre-set agenda, will aim to improve trust between the two countries.

india Updated: Apr 27, 2018 09:14 IST
Shishir Gupta
Shishir Gupta
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Narendra Modi,Xi Jinping,Wuhan summit
Prime Minister Narendra Modi being received in Wuhan after he landed on Thursday night in China. Vice foreign minister Kong Xuanyou looks on.(PMO/Twitter)

The only item on the agenda of the informal bilateral summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping is trust, according to top Indian government officials.

The two leaders, who will meet without any pre-set agenda, will aim to improve trust between the two countries and make sure “micro issues” do not act as an irritant, the officials added, asking not to be identified.

According to the officials, Modi and Xi will have “many” one-on-one interactions over April 27 and 28, with key aides joining them only for a few of the meetings at the East Lake villa in Wuhan. Politburo member Yang Jiechi, who is also the former Special Representative on India-China boundary talks, China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Chinese Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui will be present to assist Xi. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, who is also the Special Representative for India-China boundary talks, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and Indian Ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale, will be present in Wuhan from the Indian side. This means both sides have advisors with over 100 years of accumulated government experience to assist the principals.

Before PM Modi left for Wuhan, he was locked in a series of meetings with NSA Doval and secretary Gokhale that extended till early Thursday morning. “Now it is for the two leaders to talk to each other. It will be a leaders’-led dialogue, which has the potential to transform the relationship,” said a senior government official,

While both Indian and Chinese diplomats are tight-lipped about the outcome, there are positive indications from the bilateral meeting between defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman and her Chinese counterpart Gen Wei Fenghe in Beijing on Tuesday.

HT learns that both sides were positive about future bilateral military to military engagement and were ready to look at the roadmap for defence engagement in future.

“With pressure from the trade war with US looming, China needs to build trust with India. And India is all for increasing trade with China as long as its security concerns are recognised,” said a South Block official.

First Published: Apr 26, 2018 23:25 IST