New Delhi, April 24: Days ahead of PM Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping’s informal summit, a top Chinese diplomat on Tuesday said that the Doklam standoff happened due to ‘lack of mutual trust’ between India and China. “Both countries need to work together to create favourable conditions and gradually settle the boundary issue,”vice foreign minister Kong Xuanyou asserted. Indian and Chinese troops had been locked in a stand-off for over two months last year in the Doklam area near Sikkim before ‘disengaging’ on August 28.

On being asked if the Doklam standoff and the boundary issue will figure in the talks between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi, vice foreign minister Kong said the two leaders decided to hold informal summit “because both the countries attach great importance to each other in external strategy, not because of the boundary question that still remained unresolved, that we need to talk about it during the informal summit”.

“Of course, the boundary question is important. Both sides need to work together to create favourable conditions and gradually settle it. Proper settlement of boundary question will help deepen cooperation and deepen mutual understanding and trust between the two countries,” Kong further stated adding,”At the informal summit, the two leaders will have heart-to-heart discussions on the issues of overarching, long-term and strategic importance to bilateral relations. In terms of some specific differences or sensitive issues, the two sides will stay in touch with each other through relevant channels. In the process of deepening mutual trust, they will gradually find a way to try to settle them.”

Xi and Modi will hold an “informal summit” in central China’s Wuhan city from April 27 to 28 to improve bilateral relations and discuss global issues of mutual concern. PM Modi was expected to arrive in Wuhan in the evening on April 26 and join Xi in the informal summit at a picturesque location the next day. Their meetings were expected to go on till mid-day of April 28 after which the Prime Minister will return.

(With PTI Inputs)