NEW DELHI: Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host Chinese President Xi Jinping this year for an informal summit, an Indian foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, after meeting several times over the past year to try to defuse tension.
The two held their first informal summit in Wuhan in April 2018 and at that meeting Xi had accepted Modi’s invitation to come to India for a second meeting. “The two sides are in touch, through diplomatic channels, to finalize the date and venue for the meeting,” the spokesman said.
China is an “all-weather” friend with India’s neighbor and long-time foe Pakistan, and a military standoff at the Indian-Chinese high-altitude Himalayan border in 2017 rekindled fears of war.
Modi may also hold his first bilateral meeting with U.S. President Donald Trump in over two years on the sidelines of the G20 summit in June in Osaka, Japan, a source aware of the development said. Trump caused alarm across the world after he raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods from China on May 10, prompting Beijing to say it would hit back with its own higher duties. Both Modi and Trump are expected to talk again at the U.N. General Assembly session in September in New York, the source said, declining to be identified as he was not authorized to speak to the media.