16:54 GMT26 October 2020
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    Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will travel to China this week for an informal meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in what analysts say could help reset ties between the Asian neighbors.

    The two leaders will be meeting in Wuhan from April 27 to 28. China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi announced the forthcoming summit after conferring with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj in Beijing on Sunday.

    According to Indian media experts, the meeting, which comes ahead of the annual Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in China’s eastern coastal city of Qingdao in June, is set to redefine the future relationship between the two Asian giants.

    In an interview with Sputnik, the Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences’ Deputy Director Zhang Yifeng said that regular top-level bilateral visits and contacts help prevent low-level misunderstandings and border conflicts, like last year’s military standoff in the disputed Himalayan border region of Doklam, and are conducive to stability and closer ties between the two countries.

    “China and India look differently on certain things, but we need to keep these differences under control so that they do not damage our countries’ fundamental and long-lasting interests, our shared desire for stability, development and mutual gain,” Zhang Yifeng said.

    Foreign affairs expert Tatyana Shaumyan sees the upcoming summit as a reaction to the growing tensions in the world.

    The visit reflects, among other things, a desire to work out a common stand regarding the United States.

    “The Chinese and Indian leaders probably realize the need to stick together in the face of the current global confrontation. China and India are likely willing to dovetail their positions to be able to respond to what is going on in the West and concerns both of them,” Shaumyan noted.

    Moscow State University expert Boris Volkhonsky believes that despite certain bilateral frictions, China and India have more in common than what keeps them apart.

    “The countries want to show their desire to mend fences after they teetered precariously on the brink of a military conflict last summer. Besides, Modi pursues a multilateral foreign policy and China remains India’s main trading partner,” Volkhonsky said.

    He did not rule out the possibility of the two leaders discussing the Sino-Pakistani economic corridor.

    “China and India have problems in their relations and it is in their best interest to resolve them in a constructive, not confrontational, way,” the expert added.

    Briefing reporters after a meeting with Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj on Sunday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi congratulated India on its joining the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

    Sushma Swaraj thanked China for supporting her country’s bid to join the SCO and pledged India’s wholehearted support for Beijing during the upcoming summit in Qingdao.

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    The two countries agreed to promote, together with the other member-states, the organization’s “Shanghai spirit” and its constructive role in ensuring regional security, stability, development and prosperity.

    The views expressed in this article are solely those of the speakers and do not necessarily reflect the official position of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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