Xi to Modi: Let’s work together for the ‘revival of Eastern civilization’


General Secretary Xi Jinping’s “informal” summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi began in Wuhan on April 27. Here’s the latest news, reaction, and analysis from Wuhan:

  • “China and India are both countries with a splendid history and culture,” and they should “together work for the revival of Eastern civilization” (共同致力于东方文明复兴), Xi told Modi as the pair visited the Hubei Provincial Museum, according to Xinhua news (in Chinese).
  • Check out the Xinhua article for CCTV footage of an especially slouched — ahem, relaxed — Xi sitting together with Modi, followed by footage of the museum visit.
  • The “Eastern civilization” line mirrored yesterday’s China Daily editorial, which modestly set expectations for the meeting: Summit may herald ‘Century of Asia.’
  • “I hope such informal summits become a tradition between both the countries. I’ll be happy, if in 2019 we can have such an informal summit in India,” Modi said, per Reuters.
  • “The two leaders have reached many important consensuses via these meetings,” Xinhua did not hesitate to report, without going into specifics.
  • International affairs commentator Ian Bremmer is not convinced, writing in TIME, “The reality is that China today has supplanted Pakistan as India’s chief rival in Asia — but neither sees great value in escalating tensions further. That starts with the meeting this week.”
  • “We are not terming this a reset,” a senior Indian government official told India Today, in a cover story worth reading about current China-India relations. The official continued, “In digital terms, a reset means wiping out the past and rebooting the relations. Historical and legacy issues — what the Chinese call core concerns and we term sensitive zones — will remain. We’re not ready to alter our position on these issues.”
  • Also see in Stratfor: India and China’s rapprochement extends only skin deep