BEIJING, April 28 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi began a two-day informal meeting in central China Friday, pledging to open a new chapter in bilateral ties.
In China's central city of Wuhan, Xi said China stands ready to work with India to establish a closer partnership of development, so as to promote all-round progress in exchanges and cooperation between the two countries in various sectors.
Xi said both sides should look at the complete picture of Sino-Indian ties from a strategic perspective, so as to ensure that bilateral relations always proceed in the right direction.
"The great cooperation between our two great countries can influence the world," Xi said.
Modi said that the meeting has a historic significance.
Modi called on the two sides to increase mutual understanding, and work together to deal with global issues and challenges using the wisdom of the two countries.
Calling Xi-Modi meeting "one of the most significant events in the region this year," Mushtaq Rahim, an Afghan analyst and founding member of the Kabul-based think tank Afghanistan Diplomacy Studies Organization, told Xinhua that the meeting is not only of direct significance for Beijing and Delhi, but also paves the way for broader regional economic and security cooperation.
Rahim said the improvement of relations between China and India can help countries in the region build consensus and create more opportunities for economic cooperation.
Muhammad Faruk Khan, presidium member of Bangladesh's ruling Awami League, told Xinhua that the deepening of understanding between China and India will undoubtedly benefit both of them and the region at large.
"We welcome this meeting and the meeting to be held between them in June during the Shanghai Cooperation Organization meeting in China," said Khan, who was also former Bangladeshi commerce minister.
The bilateral tete-a-tete has attracted worldwide attention, said Gerrishon Ikiara, a senior lecturer at the University of Nairobi.
While political and economic ties between China and India have been rapidly growing in recent years in a wide range of dimensions, the meeting between the leaders of the two most populous countries in the world signals closer economic and diplomatic cooperation between the emerging economies in Asia.
Stephen Ndegwa, professor from the Nairobi-based United States International University, said that as leading emerging global economies under BRICS, China and India will help change any skewed trade rules in favor of developing economies.
"The meeting will entrench Asia's pivotal role in global trade and diplomacy. This is expected to create a more balanced relationship in how countries trade in the world for mutual benefit," Ndegwa said.
Sudheendra Kulkarni, chairman of Mumbai-based think-tank Observer Research Foundation, said the Wuhan meeting provides an opportunity for the two leaders to address core concerns and identify areas where India-China relations can be ambitiously expanded and deepened.
Comprehensive connectivity in South Asia should be a big idea for the two heads of state, Kulkarni said. With mutual trust and comprehensive cooperation, India and China can positively influence peace, stability and progress in Asia and around the world.