India, China mark first anniversary of Wuhan summit

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Narendra Modi

By Gaurav Sharma

Beijing– India and China are marking the first anniversary of the icebreaking meet between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping in Wuhan, by holding a week-long celebration in the central Chinese city.

The ties between the two Asian giants, who have a festering border dispute, have seemingly improved after Modi and Xi had an informal summit on April 28-29, 2018, which many analysts described as “historic” one.

To commemorate the event — “Colours of India” — a week-long exposition of Indian culture, together with business and tourism-related events, will be held in Wuhan, Hubei, from April 29 to May 3.

India’s envoy Vikram Misri held consultations with Jiang Chaoliang, Communist Party Secretary of the Hubei province, on Monday to discuss activities and ideas to take forward India-China relations and further strengthen the role of the province in this endeavour, the Indian embassy in Beijing said.

Meetings with the Wuhan municipal government leadership were also scheduled.

It’s being jointly organised by the Indian embassy, Beijing, and the Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR), New Delhi, in association with the Hubei provincial government and the Wuhan municipal government and supported by the China Arts Association.

Indian dance performances, Bollywood movie screenings as well as photography exhibitions will be part of the week-long celebration. There will also be photo exhibitions on Mahatma Gandhi and Buddhist heritage sites in India.

A business event to encourage Chinese companies to invest in India is also lined up. A tourism roadshow is also scheduled.

The icebreaking Modi-Xi summit in 2018 followed a 73-day military stand-off between the two nations in 2017 that brought them almost to blows.

The format of the never-seen-before rendezvous between any Indian and Chinese leaders involved several rounds of talks between Modi and Xi. They also watched a cultural performance and took a leisurely walk by the lake in Wuhan.

They pledged not to let the border dispute affect other aspects of Sino-Indian relations. The bilateral ties have been on upswing since the meeting, with Chinese agreeing to provide more market access to Indian firms.

However, China’s continuous opposition to India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and it shielding of Pakistani-terrorist Masood Azhar continue to frustrate New Delhi. (IANS)

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