Kicking off their informal summit in Chennai, China’s President Xi Jinping and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi banked on their personal chemistry in an attempt to iron out recent wrinkles in relations between the two countries. The first part of the Chinese leader’s visit, on Friday evening, stretched on for much longer than scheduled. A one-on-one dinner between the two leaders, originally expected to take an hour, lasted almost 2½ hours. War games, Kashmir and a US$57b question: the issues as Xi meets Modi Indian foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale, briefing the media late on Friday night, said that the talks mostly revolved around trade and terrorism. “The two leaders spoke on issues of trade, investment and on enhancing both the trade values as well as trade volumes in order to bridge the trade deficit between the two countries,” Gokhale said. Xi and Modi also discussed “similar challenges that they both face on account of terrorism and radicalisation”, the foreign secretary added. “Both leaders said that these were large countries and that radicalisation was a matter of concern to both, and that both would work together to see that radicalisation and terrorism did not affect the fabric of our multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-religious societies,” Gokhale told reporters. The Indian government has recently postured aggressively on cross-border terrorism, placing the blame on Pakistan , a close Chinese ally . It remains to be seen whether either side raised the topic of Kashmir , an issue that remains hotly contested by both countries. Earlier in the evening, the informal summit saw plenty of photo opportunities and warm optics as Xi and Modi walked around the monuments in the coastal town of Mamallapuram, Tamil Nadu, which has historical India-China ties. Modi gave Xi a personal tour, a gesture that recalled their previous informal summit last April, when the Chinese president took his Indian counterpart on a tour of Hubei Museum in Wuhan. As Xi meets Modi, Chinese in Chennai hope to witness the ‘Wuhan spirit’ The leaders spoke at length on Friday evening unaccompanied apart from their interpreters. After visiting two monuments, they sat down to sip coconut water, then toured a third monument and watched a 30-minute cultural performance. At dinner, Xi was treated to range of specialties from the region, with the non-vegetarian menu featuring dishes from south India such as Malabar lobster and Thanjavur Kozhi curry (chicken curry from Tamil Nadu’s Tanjore region). Tamil Nadu: Non-vegetarian menu of the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi for Chinese President Xi Jinping today in Mahabalipuram. pic.twitter.com/FrKqWTaA8Q — ANI (@ANI) October 11, 2019 “The two leaders spent quality time, spending over five hours together of which all the time, except the 30 minutes of the cultural performance, were spent one-on-one … “Today’s visuals and the tour reflect the personal rapport between the two leaders, built over 17 meetings and two summits that the two leaders have had since PM Modi took office in 2014,” Gokhale said. The two leaders are slated to meet for three hours on Saturday, on the second and concluding leg of the summit.