Modi and Xi in Ahmedabad. Photograph:( Twitter )
This informal summit is the first of its kind and there is no precedent in each other's country
The two-day-long informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping will take place in China's Wuhan city of Hubei province this Friday and Saturday.
Both the leaders will hold bilateral meetings and discussions over a range of issues including the border standoffs and US President Donald Trump's 'protectionist' trade policy.
"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," Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou told the media.
The city of Wuhan holds great significance for the summit that is in itself historic in nature. Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will not sign any agreements or issue a joint statement at the Wuhan summit this week but they will try to build mutual trust and reach important consensus to resolve the outstanding issues.
This informal summit is the first of its kind and there is no precedent in each other's country, Kong noted.
"The frequent exchanges between President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi in recent years have taken place in various forms. One example is the "hometown diplomacy" as characterized by President Xi Jinping's visit to India in 2014 and Prime Minister Modi's visit to China in 2015," Kong said.
"In addition, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi have met several times on the sidelines of the summits of multilateral mechanisms such as BRICS, the G20, and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization," he added.
"During these occasions, they exchanged views on issues of common interest and reached many important consensuses, which has offered strong guidance to the China-India relations and enabled a good working relationship and personal friendship between the two leaders. At the same time, in the face of unprecedented changes in the world today as well as uncertainty and instability in the current international situation, President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Modi, as the leaders of the two largest developing countries, also feel that the two countries need to communicate in great depth on some long-term, comprehensive, and strategic issues embedded in bilateral relations and international affairs."
At Wuhan, the Indo-Sino ties are likely to get an overhaul which could translate into reduced differences and greater consensus between both the countries. The neighbouring countries could emerge as natural partners with deeper understanding and consensus on areas of disagreement.
At Wuhan, Xi and Modi may mull over the current state of global affairs and mostly, how to drive international powers toward peace-building and brace-up for tougher global challenges.
The leaders may share individual governance experiences to propel their respective nations toward growth and prosperity. Some of the areas of common interest shared by the Modi-government and Xi-led regime include international trade, global energy market, better and stronger representation at the BRICS, the SCO, and the G20.
It must be noted that India's role at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) has not been an impressive one, something that has largely and mostly been seen as not conducive for the Europe-Asia enterprise the Wuhan summit thus becomes an opportunity for India to take a future course in such areas.