Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi held discussions for nearly two and a half hours over dinner on Friday evening in the coastal town of Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu. They discussed terrorism, bilateral relations, investments and trade among several topics, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters.
Ministry of External Affairs spokesperson Raveesh Kumar described the first day of the informal summit as “highly productive”. Xi and Modi discussed economic matters and trade deficit, with a focus on identifying new areas for investment and enhancing bilateral trade, said Gokhale, according to PTI. They also pledged to together ensure that radicalisation and terrorism do not affect the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic and multi-religious societies of China and India, Gokhale said.
“The discussion stretched over 150 minutes and it was well beyond the planned time for conversation,” said Gokhale. “The discussions were very open and cordial. This was quality time that the two leaders spent together one-on-one.”
The two leaders had dinner in the Shore Temple complex after attending a cultural show there. Earlier in the evening, Modi had received Xi at the Arjuna’s Penance monument, after which they visited Krishna’s Butter Ball and the Five Chariots complex. Monuments in the historical Mamallapuram town form a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Earlier this week, India had got upset with China after Xi, in a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing, said China was keeping a watch on the situation in Kashmir. India had said Kashmir was its internal matter and not for others to comment on. There was no official word on whether the topic came up during the discussions on Friday.
On Saturday, India and China will hold delegation-level talks at Taj Fisherman’s Cove Resort and Spa in Chennai. Modi will then host a lunch for Xi, after which the Chinese president will leave for the airport.
This is the second informal summit between the two leaders after the one in Wuhan city of China in April 2018.
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