Xi to visit India in 2019, takes stock of post-Wuhan developments with Modi

By Gaurav Sharma

Qingdao (China), June 9 (IANS) India and China on Saturday made some fairly big announcements, including Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India, as he and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi met on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit.

The two leaders, who met a second time in just over a month after their informal summit in Wuhan, had a “substantive” meeting in which they took stock of the developments in the Sino-Indian ties after their ice-breaking meeting in late April.

Both countries decided to set a trade target of $100 billion and Beijing showed its readiness to open its market to Indian pharmaceutical as well as agriculture products.

“One of the outcomes of the meeting is that the Chinese side conveyed they have accepted the Prime Minister’s invitation to Xi Jinping to have a Wuhan-like informal summit in India in 2019,” India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said.

“It was a longish meeting which went close to one hour. It was a very substantive meeting.

“Both also agreed to, as they had decided in Wuhan, maintaining strategic communications between them through various channels … through telephone calls and frequent meetings on the sidelines of multilateral events.”

Gokhale said that Modi and Xi would again meet on the sidelines of the BRICS Summit in South Africa.

He said Chinese Defence Minister as well as the Minister of Public Security would also visit India this year.

Some discussion on trade and investment-related issue also came up, according to Gokhale.

Xi told Modi that the two countries should set a trade target of 100 billion dollars by 2020.

Xi said China was looking to enhance imports of agriculture products from India including non-Basmati rice and sugar.

The Chinese side said it would also encourage high-quality Indian pharmaceuticals products in the Chinese market.

India has been pushing for pharmaceutical exports to China.

Gokhale said Modi conveyed to Xi India’s readiness to permit Bank of China to establish its branch in Mumbai.

The two leaders also signed deals about Beijing sharing Brahamaputra river data with New Delhi and India’s export of rice to China.

(Gaurav Sharma can be contacted at sharmagaurav71@gmail.com)

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