Hanoi(PTI): Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday met Chinese President Xi Jinping amid differences between…
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping met on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Hangzhou on Sunday, with the leaders focusing on giving a boost to the tenuous ties between the two neighbours.
The Modi-Xi meeting was their first after some new issues have roiled the Sino-India relations already plagued by a festering border dispute, Beijing’s close ties with Islamabad and a massive trade surplus in favour of China.
“China is willing to work with India to maintain their hard-won sound relations and further advance their cooperation,” President Xi said during the 30-minute meeting.
For his part, PM Modi said Sino-India partnership is important for the region and also for the world, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup said at a press briefing.
The PM also said India and China should understand each other’s aspirations and concerns for better ties.
The leaders of the world’s 20 biggest economies, including the US President Barack Obama, Russian President Vladimir Putin and the new UK Prime Minister Theresa May, have gathered in this scenic city — about an hour on a bullet train from Shanghai in eastern China – for the two-day summit.
The summit will be inaugurated Sunday afternoon and will be followed by a banquet in the evening.
US President Barack Obama and China’s President Xi Jinping, with their delegations, hold a bilateral meeting ahead of the G20 Summit, at West Lake State Guest House in Hangzhou, China. (Reuters )
“Ever since the beginning of this year, there have been new disturbances in our bilateral relations. But I am glad to find that after foreign minister Wang Yi’s visit to India, the situation is stabilising,” said Hu Shisheng, south Asia expert at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.
Indian community from Hangzhou welcomes PM Modi at his hotel. (HT Photo)
Hangzhou, the host city
Modi reached Hangzhou late Saturday night and was welcomed at his hotel by an enthusiastic group of the city-based Indians.
For the resident of Hangzhou, recent weeks have meant living through increasingly tight security – so much so that nearly two million residents have left the city to avoid the inconvenience.
For one, you might not get a glass of fresh fruit juice, which for some inexplicable reason is being seen as a security threat and banned in many places.
Then, you as a conscientious citizen of the city might be asked to “contribute by wiping out four pests” – flies, cockroaches, mosquitoes and rodents. A campaign to wipe out the “pests” has been on since March and is reaching a crescendo this weekend, according to reports in state media.
Airports and railway stations have been on alert for days and armed personnel deployed across the city to keep a watch.
As many as 150 checkpoints have been put up on the streets and traffic re-routed especially around the summit venue.
According to official news agency Xinhua, more than 3,900 volunteers recruited from universities will help in the summit logistics.
“The volunteers, who are mostly college students and teachers who can speak a foreign language, were chosen from over 26,000 applicants from 15 universities across Zhejiang province,” volunteer coordinator Wang Huilin told Xinhua.
China has temporarily shut down more than 200 companies around Hangzhou and put restrictions on vehicles to check pollution.