In a first visit by an Indian head of state to China in a decade, President Pratibha Patil on Wednesday left for Beijing.
Besides Beijing, the six-day state visit will take the President to Loyang, where she will inaugurate the famous White Horse Buddhist temple, and Shanghai, where she will visit India and China Pavilions at the Shanghai Expo 2010 and address members of the India-China business forum.
Political dialogue, cultural diplomacy and economic cooperation will be the three crucial components of the visit. Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao has said the visit "signals our unequivocal commitment to deepen and expand our strategic and cooperative partnership with China."
She said a number of agreements were under discussion and likely to be signed during the visit. However, she did not divulge the nature of these agreements.
In Beijing, the President will hold extensive talks with her counterpart Hu Jintao, Rao said, adding she will also meet other senior Chinese leaders including Chairman of the National People's Congress Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao and Chairman of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference Jia Qinglin. According to Rao, all bilateral issues and the situation in the region will be discussed during these meetings.