Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will be visiting New Delhi on Sunday as a special envoy of President Xi Jinping to establish political contacts with the new Indian government amid hopes here of an upswing in bilateral ties due to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s familiarity with China.
Wang, 61, a seasoned diplomat will hold talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and Modi himself during his two-day visit. He is also expected to call on President Pranab Mukherjee and meet the new National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.
This is the first contact between the two governments after the Indian general election while Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has already spoken to Modi over phone soon after he was sworn in.
During his visit, Wang will meet leading Indian officials and will have in-depth exchanges on how to push forward bilateral relations, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said. “India has formed a new government and China and India now face a new opportunities of development,” he said.
While the Chinese official media and state-run think tanks projected a new momentum in trade and economic ties between the two countries considering that Modi visited China four times as Chief Minister of Gujarat, Beijing also closely watched the new government’s policy towards US and Japan, whom it regards as arch rivals.
China is watching the countries Modi will be visiting on his first trip abroad considering that Li had made India his first destination abroad after taking power last year.
The new Chinese leadership is keen to improve relations with India in the face of serious challenges it faces over its maritime disputes with Japan in the East China Sea and with Vietnam, the Philippines and other maritime neighbours in the South China Sea amid a major US military push into the Asia-Pacific.