A day after Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping held nearly two-and-a-half hours of ‘open and cordial’ talks at the magnificent Shore temple complex of Mahabalipuram, the two leaders will hold their second round of one-on-one informal talks on Saturday. Following this, India and China will hold delegation-level talks including top officials. The second informal summit between PM Modi and Jinping comes at a time when the ties between the two Asian giants came under strain over India's decision to withdraw the special status of Jammu and Kashmir.
Earlier on Friday, held “pleasant conversation” over dinner and discussed terrorism and expressed concern over the growing radicalisation, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale said in a press conference.
"The two leaders held detailed discussions on their respective national vision," he said and added that Modi and Xi also discussed trade-related issues, including how to enhance bilateral trade volume and identified investment areas.
Although there was no official confirmation whether Modi and Xi discussed the Kashmir issue which overshadowed President Xi's trip to the coastal town, it is widely speculated that the issue found mention in the conversation between the two leaders over dinner.
PM Modi, dressed in a Tamil attire of 'Veshti' (dhoti), white shirt and an 'angavastram' (shawl), took Xi for a guided tour of the famous world heritage sites of Arjuna's Penance, Krishna's Butterball, the Pancha Ratha and Shore temple in this ancient temple town, kicking off the second informal summit between the two leaders.
External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar described the engagement between Modi and Xi on the first day of the Informal summit as "highly productive".
"Concluding a highly productive day with a pleasant conversation over a long dinner. PM @narendramodi & Chinese President Xi continued their exchange of views on deepening of the India-China partnership over a breathtaking Kalakshetra cultural performance followed by dinner," Kumar tweeted.
The Chinese president arrived in Chennai in the afternoon and recieved a grand red-carpet welcome by the Tamil Nadu government. He then headed to Mahabalipuram for the summit with Modi. In the late afternoon, Modi and Xi sipped coconut water and engaged in casual interaction in a serene setting in the backdrop of 7th century rock-cut chariots of Pancha Ratha overlooking the Bay of Bengal.