New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have the opportunity to meet at least three times this year to take forward their friendship forged during their unprecedented informal summit in Wuhan, China's ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui said today.
Addressing a seminar here on the 'Wuhan Summit: Sino-India Relations and its Way Forward', Luo said the two leaders reached broad consensus on the overarching, long-term and strategic issues of global and bilateral importance during their two-day summit in the central Chinese city last week.
The summit in Wuhan was seen as an effort by India and China to rebuild trust and improve ties that were hit by the 73-day-long Dokalam standoff last year.
Giving a first-hand briefing to scholars and journalists on the informal summit, which he dubbed as a "very special event" in Chinese diplomacy, Luo noted that President Xi has never hosted a foreign leader twice outside the Chinese capital Beijing.
Xi had hosted Modi in the central Chinese city of X'ian in 2015 and last week the two leaders met in Wuhan.
"This shows that China attaches high importance to its relations with India," he said.
The envoy said the idea of holding an informal summit was first mooted by Prime Minister Modi when he met President Xi on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation in Astana, Kazakhstan in 2017. After that, the two side worked very hard to make it happen, he said.
Luo said President Xi and Prime Minister Modi will have three more opportunities this year to carry forward their fruitful and wide-ranging conversations in Wuhan.
The ambassador said the two leaders could meet at the next Shanaghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit to be held in June in Qingdao, China, the BRICS Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa and the next G20 Summit in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
He said the officials concerned of the two countries were closely working to facilitate these meetings and implement the consensus reached between the two leaders in Wuhan. The ambassador said the two leaders had in-depth discussions and reached consensus on their respective visions for national development as well as domestic and foreign policies.
China and India, the two biggest developing countries and emerging economies --each with a population of over one billion, are important countries with strategic autonomy. "A peaceful, stable and balanced relationship between China and India is an important positive factor for the stability of the world," he said.
On the differences between China and India, including the vexed boundary issue, the envoy said the two leaders have given strategic guidance to the officials on both sides to properly manage and control their differences.
He underlined that both countries have the maturity and wisdom to handle their differences through peaceful discussion and by respecting each other's concerns and aspirations.
Both leaders have agreed to use the Special Representatives' Meeting on the boundary issue to seek a "fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement". The two militaries will strengthen confidence-building measures (CBMs) and enhance communication and cooperation to uphold border peace and tranquillity.
As the two major countries in Asia, China and India will work together to make international relations more democratic, increase the representation and say of developing countries and emerging markets, support the multilateral trading regime, oppose protectionism and work for an open, inclusive, balanced and win-win economic globalisation that benefits all, he said.
Luo also said that both sides have agreed to instruct officials to work out specific plans and measures to implement the consensus reached between President Xi and Prime Minister Modi and further build on the informal summit in Wuhan and work towards opening new vistas in China-India relations.