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Wuhan was a milestone, PM Modi and President Xi have personal connect: Sushma Swaraj

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi talk as they visit the Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan, Hubei province, China April 27, 2018. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Dec 21, 2018, 06.27 PM (IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

The first meeting of the newly constituted 'India-China High-Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges' took place in New Delhi with both sides reaffirming momentum in ties. The meeting was co-chaired by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Calling Wuhan informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping a "milestone in bilateral relations", Swaraj said, "PM Modi and President Xi have established a personal connection and laid our strategic guidance."

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She added, "the armies of both the countries are making effort to strengthen contacts and implement confidence-building measures. This will help to promote peace and tranquillity at India-China border which is an important prerequisite for smooth development of bilateral relations."

The decision to establish the India-China High-Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges was taken during the informal summit between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi Jinping in Wuhan in April 2018. 

Chinese Foreign minister Wang Yi said, "we agreed to leverage strengths in respective fields. People to people exchanges should be of the people and for the people. It is a major initiative in the history of India and China relations."

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He also called on to increase people-to-people exchanges between India and China which he said: "will serve as progress for the entire mankind."

Both the sides agreed on 10 priority areas which include enhancing cooperation in films, education, tourism, art, yoga, media, culture, sports, academic and youth exchanges."

The High-Level Mechanism will bring all the existing bilateral, cultural and people-to-people engagements between India and China under one umbrella.

This was the last high-level meeting between India and China this year. This year, PM Modi met Chinese President Jinping four times -- from Wuhan informal summit in April to the meeting on the sidelines of the SCO summit, BRICS Summit and the G20 summit. Chinese President Xi Jinping will be visiting India in 2019 for the second informal summit between India and China.

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Swaraj was speaking during the first meeting of the newly constituted 'India-China High-Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges' in New Delhi.