Thursday, October 17, 2019
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Trade & Terror On The Table, Modi-Xi Dinner Goes Into Extra Time

MAMALLAPURAM, TAMIL NADU: India and China are complex and diverse societies and both share common concerns about radicalisation and terrorism, India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told journalists late on Friday. He was briefing at the end of the first day of the informal summit between Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping at the world heritage site of Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu.

“Both leaders promised to work together to ensure their societies are safe and secure from such radicalisation,” said Gokhale while deferring questions for the final day of the informal summit, which is Saturday.

Friday’s discussions between the two leaders lasted five hours and were largely one on one. The dinner lasted two hours and a half, well above the 100-odd minutes it was timed for. Gokhale said talks focused on their respective national visions. Modi told his guest that his sweeping victory in the recent general elections was a mandate for change and development. President Xi promised to work with Modi closely in this endeavour.

“There was some discussion on enhancing trade and pushing investment in new areas,” Gokhale said, adding that “India’s trade deficit was also addressed”.

Saturday’s discussions are scheduled to cover regional and international issues but since this is an unstructured meeting, the two leaders could return to some of the national development issues they had covered on Friday.

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