WUHAN: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Fridayexchanged views on “solidifying” the India-China relationship as they began an unprecedented two-day informal summit here during which they will have a series of one-on-one conversations focussing on bilateral, global and regional issues.
Modi who arrived here in the central Chinese city for the informal summit began talks soon after President Xi hosted a grand welcoming ceremony for him.
The summit in Wuhan – the favourite holiday spot of revolutionary Chinese leader Mao Zedong – is being seen as an effort by India and China to rebuild trust and improve ties that were hit by the 73-day-long Dokalam standoff last year.
Modi and Xi shook hands and posed for photographs before witnessing a cultural programme at Hubei Provincial Museum in Wuhan.
During their one-on-one coversation, Modi told Xi that when he was the Gujarat chief minister, he had an opportunity to visit Hubei Province on a study tour to learn about the Three Gorges Dam.
“The speed with which you constructed this dam and its scale inspired me. So I came on a study tour and spent a day at dam,” Modi said.
As the world’s largest hydropower project, the Three Gorges project is a multifunctional water control system on the mighty Yangtze river.
It comprises a dam stretching 2,309 meters long and 185 meters high, 32 hydropower turbo-generators, a five-tier ship lock and ship lift system.
The two leaders later visited an exhibition of Marquis Yi of Zeng Cultural Relics & Treasure at the Hubei Provincial Museum.
The museum has a large number of state-level historic and cultural relics. Officials said Modi and Xi would focuss on global, regional and bilateral issues.
The two leaders will later hold delegationb-level talks accompanied by six top officials from each side. The two leaders will have one-on-one dinner at a state guest house by the famous East Lake.
They will resume their one-on-one interaction tomorrow at 10 a.m (local time) with walks by the lake side, boat ride and wind up their talks over lunch, official sources here said.
The two leaders began their informal meetings way back in 2014 when Xi was hosted by Modi at the Sabarmati Ashram of Mahatma Gandhi in Gujarat.
They have met and interacted with each other in about a dozen international meetings since then. But this will be their “heart-to-heart” informal summit.