Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold an informal summit in China's Wuhan city from April 27 to 28 to exchange views on bilateral and international issues and to enhance mutual understanding between them, China's Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced here today.
Prime Minister Modi will be visiting the central Chinese city in Hubei province at the invitation of President Xi, Wang said at a joint media event with visiting External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj after their talks.
"The two leaders will have communications of a strategic nature concerning the once-in-a-century shifts going on in the world. They will also exchange views on overarching long-term and strategic matters concerning the future of China-India relations," Wang said.
China and India are "natural partners" in cooperation. "Our common interests far outweigh our differences. The two countries have no choice other than pursuing ever lasting friendship, mutually beneficial cooperation and a common development," he said.
"The summit will go a long way towards deepening the mutual trust between the two great neighbours. The leaders will reach a strategic conclusion about the global situation and the development of China and India. It will also set the general goals, identify new goals and create a new dynamic for the growth of China-India relations," he said.
Swaraj said she discussed with Wang the preparations for the informal summit between the two leaders.
"It will be an important occasion for them to exchange views on bilateral and international matters from an over-arching and long-term perspective with the objective of enhancing mutual communication at the level of leaders," she said.
"The meeting in Wuhan flows from the understanding reached by the two leaders last year that India-China relations are a factor for stability in a period of global changes, and we have a common responsibility for peace, security and prosperity in the world," she said.
Swaraj said both leaders will also discuss their respective national developmental priorities and explore the future direction of the multifaceted engagement between India and China with a view to strengthen their closer developmental partnership.
On bilateral ties, she said, the progress made by the two countries in the last few months has also contributed to building trust and understanding.
"We have agreed to maintain the momentum of these exchanges," she said.
She said the two countries have agreed that as two major countries and large emerging economies, the healthy development of bilateral ties was important for the emergence of an Asian Century.
"We believe that our commonalities outweigh our differences and that we must build on our convergences, while seeking mutually acceptable resolution of our differences," she said.
The minister also underlined the importance of maintaining peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas as an "essential pre-requisite" for the smooth development of bilateral relations.
Swaraj is in China for talks with Wang and to take part in the two-day meeting of Foreign Ministers of the eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) from tomorrow.
Informed sources told PTI that it will be an informal summit meeting between Xi and Modi during which both leaders will try to work out a new paradigm for the bilateral ties bogged down with a host of disputes and differences.
This will be fourth visit of Modi to China after he came to power in 2014. He is again due to visit China to take part in the SCO summit to be held at Qingdao city on June 9-10.
The Modi-Xi summit meeting is taking place in the backdrop of series of high level interactions between both the two countries starting with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang's visit to India in December, the first after Dokalam standoff.
It was followed by two meetings between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and the visit early this year by Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale to Beijing.