By Tenzin Dharpo
DHARAMSHALA, APRIL 24: In what is being seen as an effort to reboot ties between their countries, authorities from both India and China jointly announced on Sunday that Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold talks later this week in China.
The two-day meet on April 27 and 28 will be an informal summit between President Xi and PM Modi in the Chinese city of Wuhan. Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj who is in Beijing for the meeting of Foreign Ministers of the eight-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) said, “My discussion with foreign minister Wang Yi was to prepare for this informal summit between our 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.”
“Both the leaders will also discuss their national developmental priorities and explore the future direction of the multifaceted engagement between the two countries with a view to strengthen their Closer Development Partnership,” Swaraj further said.
The fourth visit by Modi to China, eminent Chinese expert Srikanth Kondapalli say is a positive move. “After the Doklam incident and touching the bottom of bilateral relations, this meeting assumes significance for making efforts to regain stability. The Chinese bottomline is OBOR and the US (Quad), while for India it is border stability, curbing cross-border terrorism and the Indian Ocean Region,” he told Economic Times.
While there are a section of mainstream opinion that India has sidelined the Tibet issue and more personally the Tibetan leader His Holiness the Dalai Lama to accommodate the reshuffle in ties with Beijing, the Tibetan leader himself is all praise for the proposed talks later this week.
"I think very good....neither India nor China...(has) the ability to destroy (each) other," the Dalai Lama told reporters on the sidelines of an event in New Delhi on Monday. "We have to live side by side, then much better live friendly. If combined, India and China, can make contribution in many fields besides economy," he added.
The day before he reiterated his long held stand to seek “genuine autonomy” under China and not seek independence. The ‘middle way policy’, the official stand of the exile Tibetan government based in Dharamshala and known officially as the Central Tibetan Administration calls for autonomy as prescribed in the Chinese Constitution.