MAMALLAPURAM: In the backdrop of the 7th century rock-cut monuments with the setting sun casting a soft glow on their faces, the leaders of India and China sipped coconut water and shared their hopes for stronger and harmonious bilateral relations, belying the recent acrimony over the Kashmir issue.
The chemistry and comfort level between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping shone through the gathering dusk as the former took his Chinese guest around landmarks in the ancient temple town of Mamallapuram. The semi-formal clothes they wore reflected the ambience of the informal summit.
PM Modi sported a white half-sleeved shirt, a veshti and an angavastram as he welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping, dressed in a white shirt and dark trousers, and showed him around the much-visited world heritage site. Xi Jinping could be seen admiring ancient rock monuments, including Arjuna’s Penance, Panch Rathas and the Shore Temple.
The atmospherics at the second informal summit looked visibly relaxed, especially after days of conflicting positioning over the Kashmir issue, fuelling optimism about a new consensus emerging from Mamallapuram on steering this crucial partnership in a win-win direction.
The sightseeing tour was followed by the two leaders watching a soul-uplifting traditional musical performed by Kalakshetra Foundation comprising Bharatnatyam and Kuchipudi dances. Xi Jinping’s first evening in India culminated with a sumptuous one-one-one dinner with PM Modi at the magnificent Shore Temple.
The informal interaction around historic cites in Mamallapuram will be followed by one-one-one talks between the two leaders on October 12 and end with delegation-level talks and lunch before the Chinese leader departs shortly after noon. The nearly six hours the two leaders are expected to spend together could script a brighter chapter in the saga of India-China relations which will entail accelerating win-win cooperation across the spectrum, leaving the more difficult issues by the wayside till the atmosphere is ripe for their resolution.
- Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.
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