India – China informal summit:
- President Xi and Prime Minister Modi had their inaugural Informal Summit in Wuhan in April 2018.
- Chinese leader will visit India from October 11 to 12 for the second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, the External Affairs Ministry announced.
- The forthcoming Informal Summit will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to continue their discussions on overarching issues of bilateral, regional and global importance and to exchange views on deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership.
- China is not the only country with which India has had an Informal Summit. In May 2018, Modi met Russia's Vladimir Putin for their first Informal Summit in Sochi to discuss international matters in a “broad and long-term perspective”.
- The summit will be held in the coastal town of Mamallapuram.
What is an ‘Informal Summit’, and what happens in them?
- Informal Summits act as supplementary exchanges to annual Summits and other formal exchanges such as the G20 Summit, EU-India Summit and the BRICS Summit among others
- The informal meetings can allow world leaders to speak freely, unconstrained by a pre-planned agenda, that may not be possible to do through formal bilateral and multilateral meetings that are agenda driven, where specific issues are discussed, and outcomes are more concretely defined.
- Informal Summits may not take place on a fixed annual or biennial schedule; they are impromptu in the sense that they take place when a need for them is perceived by the concerned nations.
- For instance, the intergovernmental organisation ASEAN held four Informal Summits in the years 1996, 1997, 1999, and 2000.
- And in November 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi attended the ASEAN-India Informal Breakfast Summit in Singapore.
- Since Informal Summits allow discussion on wide-ranging issues, they are not particularly purpose-specific, and are sometimes considered to play bigger roles in diplomatic dialogue than formal exchanges — the reason is that they tend to be more in-depth, and relatively flexible in intent and the scope of discussion.
- For instance, in Wuhan, Prime Minister Modi and President Xi discussed a range of subjects, including the India-China boundary question, bilateral trade and investment, terrorism, economic development and global peace, and reached a “broad consensus”.
Outcome of Wuhan summit:
- At the first Informal Summit Modi and Xi met “to exchange views on overarching issues of bilateral and global importance, and to elaborate their respective visions and priorities for national development in the context of the current and future international situation”.
- The Summit achieved a “re-set” of the Sino-Indian relationship after the two-month long border standoff at the India-China-Bhutan trijunction in Doklam.
- Both the leaders decided to give “strategic guidance” to their military, so that issues did not escalate as in the case of the Doklam standoff.
- The “institutionalisation” of such Summits would help in strengthening the “strategic communication” between the countries, irrespective of the political party in power.
- Japan and Russia are the only two countries with which India has annual Summits at present.
Source: Indian Express