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What Modi, Xi will discuss in Mahabalipuram

October 07, 2019 21:22 IST

The focus of the talks will be to ensure mutual development and expanding overall ties, diplomatic sources said.

The second informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in the seaside temple town of Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu is expected to focus on taking forward bilateral ties notwithstanding differences on several sticky issues.

Though there is no official announcement either from Indian or Chinese side about Xi's visit, it is learnt that the Chinese president will arrive in Chennai on Friday afternoon and will leave the next day.

The focus of the talks will be to ensure mutual development and expanding overall ties, diplomatic sources said.

 

Officials involved in preparations for the informal summit said Xi will stay for around 24 hours in India.

The main informal summit is likely to take place on Saturday morning.

As was the format in the first informal summit in Chinese city of Wuhan, Modi and Xi will have occasions to spend time one-on-one without being accompanied by officials.

In Mamallapuram, Modi is likely take Xi to witness heritage temples and monuments built by the Pallava dynasty in 7th and 8th centuries.

The two leaders are likely to visit the seafront Shore temple on the evening of October 11 and attend a cultural programme.

In the evening, Modi is expected to host a private dinner for Xi.

The informal summit is taking place at a time when New Delhi has been upset over Beijing's position on India's decision to withdraw special status to Jammu and Kashmir and bifurcate the state into Union Territories.

India was particularly disappointed over Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi raising the Kashmir issue at the United Nations General Assembly and criticising New Delhi's move.

Wang said the 'dispute' should be peacefully and properly addressed in accordance with the UN Charter, UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreement, adding no action should be taken that would unilaterally change the region's 'status quo'.

Taking strong note of Wang's comments, India said Jammu, Kashmir and Ladakh are its integral part and the recent developments were 'entirely a matter internal' to the country.

Days after Wang's comments, China's ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing reportedly said that China was working for Kashmiris to help them get their fundamental rights and justice, comments which have not gone down well with New Delhi.

It is learnt India verbally conveyed to Beijing its displeasure over Yao's remarks.

China also apparently took strong exception to Indian military exercise Him-Vijay in Arunachal Pradesh.

The Indian Army's newly raised 17 Corps is carrying out the mega exercise at a height of around 15,000 ft in the border.

Indian military sources maintained that the exercise has nothing to do with Xi's visit to India.

China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India maintains that it is an 'integral and inalienable part' of the country.

Another issue which ruffled feathers in New Delhi was China's refusal to allow Indian embassy in Beijing to hold an event to mark Mahatma Gandhi's 150th birth anniversary on October 2 in a public park in the Chinese capital.

Reacting to it, China said the Indian embassy in Beijing was advised to shift the venue due to celebrations in Beijing on the occasion of 70th anniversary of the founding of China.

In their first informal summit in April 2018, Modi and Xi had decided to issue 'strategic guidance' to their militaries to strengthen communication and build trust and understanding between the border guarding forces of the two countries.

The summit had taken place months after Indian and Chinese troops were locked in a 73-day-long standoff in Doklam.

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