Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping shared some light moments as they walked side-by-side along the East Lake accompanied by no one but their interpreters. The walk marked the start of the second day of the talks to be held by the two leaders.
PM Modi and Xi were seen engaged in a one-on-one conversation during the walk through a promenade by the bank lined by trees on both sides. The walk ended with a traditional Chinese tea ceremony.
The two leaders then embarked on a boat ride on the lake – one of the largest urban freshwater lakes in China. On the boat – a specially-designed Chinese traditional houseboat with an upper deck and covered sitting area – the two leaders continued their conversation as they were shown the surroundings.
Later today, Xi will be hosting a lunch in the Modi’s honour before the Indian PM departs for home.
On Friday, the first of the two-day visit by PM Modi, the two leaders held delegation-level talks following a quick tour of the Hubei Provincial Museum and a one-on-one interaction as part of the Informal Summit.
During the talks, PM Modi praised China’s development and the ancient history of the two countries.
“For 1600 years of the last 2000 years, China and India’s economy gave pace to the world economy. We shared almost 50 per cent of the world economy while the rest of the world shared the rest,” said Modi during the meeting at the East Lake Guest House, where Xi is staying.
Modi reminded the Chinese President of his talk of a “new era”.
“You had talked about your dream of a new era. I am working for a new India. I believe that your ‘new era’ and our ‘new India’ are the right steps for the benefit of the world,” said Modi as Xi looked on attentively.
The Indian PM also said he was in agreement with the Chinese leader’s view that China and India could play a positive role for peace, prosperity and stability of the world.
In the meeting, Xi emphasised on mutual cooperation for respective “national revitalisation” and called for positive moves for peace and development.
“We need to make positive contributions for global peace and development. I believe in that in the future we will meet like this from time to time,” said Xi.
The delegation-level talk was attended by six top officials from each side. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale and Indian Ambassador to China Gautam Bambawale were present in the meeting. Xi’s side included Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Ding Xuexiang, Member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Yang Jiechi and State Councillor and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi.
According to reports, Modi invited Xi to India for an informal summit in 2019.
In their first round of talks, Xi told Modi that Wuhan was selected for the summit because of the ancient city’s historic and cultural influence on China’s history before taking the Indian PM to a tour of the museum.
The first day ended with Xi hosting a dinner for Modi at East Lake. The Indian PM and the Chinese President also witnessed Chinese musicians play a Bollywood song before the conclusion of the day.
The aim of the summit is to help break the ice in the ties that accumulated following the 73-day long Doklam military standoff in 2017. Modi and Xi are expected to build a consensus to improve the bilateral relations and address contentious issues. There will be no joint statement and there are no expectations of formal agreements.