'The role is still available if India changes its mind, but it may only be a small role if it is left too late,' the Global Times said. Photograph:( Others )
China Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Lu Kang on Tuesday addressed the media over the informal meeting between PM Modi and President Xi Jinping set to take place on April 27-28.
Currently, Sushma Swarak and Nirmala Sitharaman are in Beijing to attend the foreign and defence ministers' meet organised by the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation(SCO). Member countries in the SCO include China, India, Russia, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Pakistan.
This informal summit is the first of its kind and there is no precedent in each other's country. "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 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," Kang 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.
Kang further informed that "During these occasions, they exchanged views on issues of common interest and reached many important consensus, 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."
"The two sides agreed that an informal meeting would be a good idea so that the two leaders would make full and in-depth exchanges on major issues of common concern in a suitable atmosphere. We believe that more important consensus will be reached during the informal meeting in Wuhan which will contribute to the sound and stable development of China-India relations," Kang finally said.