PM Modi to host China's Xi for informal summit

Reuters NEW DELHI | Updated on May 29, 2019 Published on May 29, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping along the East Lake, in Wuhan, China during their first informal summit in 2018. File Photo   -  PTI

Yet to finalise date and venue

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host Chinese President Xi Jinping this year for an informal summit, foreign ministry spokesman said on Wednesday, after meeting several times over the past year to try to defuse tension.

The two held their first informal summit in Wuhan in April 2018 and at that meeting Xi had accepted Modi's invitation to come to India for a second meeting. “The two sides are in touch, through diplomatic channels, to finalise the date and venue for the meeting,” the spokesman said.

Related news: Modi, Xi meet in Wuhan for ‘heart-to-heart’ summit

US-India ties

Modi may also hold his first bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump in over two years on the sidelines of the G20 summit in June in Osaka, Japan, a source aware of the development said. Trump caused alarm across the world after he raised tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods from China on May 10, prompting Beijing to say it would hit back with its own higher duties.

Both Modi and Trump are expected to talk again at the UN General Assembly session in September in New York, the source said, declining to be identified as he was not authorised to speak to the media. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo might also stop over in New Delhi ahead of the G20 summit, The Hindu reported, citing sources.

Also read: Delhi gears up for possible Pompeo visit

The Trump administration on Tuesday dropped India from a list of countries it monitors for currency manipulation, after finding that New Delhi did not engage in persistent, one-sided intervention in the currency market.

Related news: US removes India, Switzerland from its currency monitoring list

India and the United States have developed close political and security ties but Trump has repeatedly called out India for its high tariffs and both sides are working to resolve a trade dispute.

The US plans to withdraw trade privileges that allow preferential duty-free imports of up to $5.6 billion a year from India. That followed India's adoption of new rules on e-commerce that have reined in how US companies such as and Walmart Inc can do business in the country.

US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross warned India that any retaliatory tariffs in response to the planned withdrawal of trade privileges would not be “appropriate” under World Trade Organization rules. India's foreign ministry did not respond to a Reuters email seeking further comment.

India's bilateral trade with the United States, which stood at $126 billion in 2017, is widely seen by trade experts as much lower than its potential.

Modi has courted foreign investment as part of his Make-in-India campaign in an attempt to turn India into a manufacturing hub and deliver jobs to the millions of Indian youths entering the workforce every year. Trump, for his part, has pushed for US manufacturing to return home as part of his Make America Great Again campaign.

Published on May 29, 2019
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