Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping met in Kovalam near Chennai for the second day of the informal summit. The President was overwhelmed by the hospitality received in the state of Tamil Nadu and thanked the PM and the state for the arrangements that were made. He also said that this is a memorable visit. PM Modi has been invited for the third informal summit and has accepted the invite. The details shall be decided at a later date.
Prime Minister said that if Wuhan had provided a mechanism to the leadership of both the nations to connect and discuss issues, the Chennai connect will enhance ties on all fronts. Here are some of the key takeaways from the informal summit:
- Post the Wuhan summit, the dialogue mechanism has been enhanced and the strategic communication will continue to be strengthened now.
- A new high level mechanism to be created to discuss matters related to trade and investments in goods and services and India’s concerns related to the issue of trade deficit to be addressed there. Joint projects in third countries too will be a subject matter of discussion. Indian investments in the Information Technology and Pharmaceuticals sectors to be welcomed.
- Discussed the RCEP negotiations which are currently underway in Bangkok- PM emphasized on the balance needed between trade in goods and services. Indian concerns shall be addressed.
- Both sides have expressed concern on the issue of terrorism and radicalization.
- The issue of Jammu and Kashmir was neither raised nor discussed at all during this informal summit.
- President Xi emphasized on defence and security cooperation. The Defence Minister has been invited and shall visit China soon to take this discussion forward.
- As India and China celebrate 70 years of their diplomatic relations (diplomatic relations established on April 1st, 1950), 70 events have been planned next year. 35 events in each nation to be organized.
- People to people ties are important in this relationship and in this regard, PM emphasized on the importance of tourism and that both the nations will enhance their ties in this area.
- Other regional and international issues were discussed.
- Both the countries agreed on the importance of rules based international order and have agreed to work together on matters related to the World Trade Organization (WTO)
- More intense cooperation on the area of climate change.
One can only expect this informal summit will pave way for a new beginning in Sino-Indian relations. If developments before the summit were clouded in differences and suspicions, we can only expect that the sun light in Chennai will clear it and more understandings and bonhomie will be established.