‘Chennai Connect’ start of new era in India-China relations: Modi

While the Wuhan Summit instilled new momentum and trust in India-China relations, the latest ‘Chennai Connect’ is the start of a new era in bilateral ties, said Prime Minister Narendra Modi while welcoming Chinese President Xi Jinping to the delegation-level talks during the last day of the second informal summit.

The Prime Minister started off his remarks at the meeting in Tamil, welcoming China to the talks, which were held right after one-on-one discussions between Modi and Xi at the Taj Fisherman’s Cove Hotel.

“Tamil Nadu and the historic city of Chennai have connected India and China through cultural and trade exchanges since ages,” he said, highlighting the age-old ties between the two nations.

The Indian delegation at the talks included National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale among other high-level officials.

“Last year’s Wuhan Summit was successful in bringing increased stability and fresh momentum to bilateral ties. Strategic communication has also increased between the two countries,” Modi said.

“We had decided to prudently manage our differences without giving them the scope of becoming a dispute. We had also decided to be sensitive to each other’s concerns. Our ties would be a contributor towards peace and stability in the world,” the leader added while recalling the first informal meet.

“The Wuhan summit instilled a new momentum and trust in our relations and today’s ‘Chennai Connect’ is the start of a new era in India-China relations,” he also said.

During his remarks, the Chinese President recalled the “heart to heart discussions” the two leaders had on the first day of Mamallapuram summit on Friday.

“We are really overwhelmed by your hospitality. My colleagues and I have felt that very strongly. This will be a memorable experience for me and us,” Xi said.

On the first day, the close ties shared between the two leaders shone through, as Modi took Xi on a guided tour of UNESCO World Heritage Sites like Arjuna’s Penance, Krishna’s Butter Ball, Pancha Rathas and the Shore Temple. A veshti-wearing Modi received Xi on Friday afternoon in the historic coastal city, which is famed for its temples and architecture dating back to the Pallava Dynasty.

The visiting dignitary also relished a variety of Indian cuisine during the dinner hosted by Modi in his honour on Friday. The two leaders met for over two hours over dinner.

The Chennai Summit takes forward the ‘Wuhan Spirit’ forged during the inaugural informal meeting between the two leaders in the Chinese city in April last year.

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