India and China are all set to launch a high-level cultural and people-to-people exchanges mechanism on Friday as a follow-up to the decision taken by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping during their informal summit in Wuhan in April.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is arriving in New Delhi late tonight to jointly launch the mechanism with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
According to External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar, the mechanism was aimed at building greater synergies in the people-to-people ties between the two countries through exchanges in areas such as tourism, art, films, media, culture, sports and academic and youth exchanges.
The two foreign ministers are also scheduled to attend the inaugural session of the 3rd India-China high-level media forum and a meeting of the think-tank. Wang will also be present at the launch of the India-China film festival. There are indications that he would also call on President Ram Nath Kovind and PM Modi.
Sources said the two countries were keen to make 2019 even better for normalising ties and promoting people-to-people exchanges. A series of high-level exchanges were planned between the two countries in 2019, including a visit by the Chinese President. But the President’s visit would take place probably after the Lok Sabha elections in India.
Sources said there has been a perceptible improvement in India-China ties since PM Modi met the Chinese President in Wuhan for the informal summit. Since then, the two leaders have met thrice this year, their last meeting having taken place in Argentina on the margins of the G-20 Summit recently.
‘’Both countries are working very hard to implement the consensus reached between the two leaders (Modi and XI),’’ sources added, noting that efforts were on by both sides to put last summer’s Doklam military stand-off behind them.