Chennai/New Delhi: India on Wednesday officially announced the holding of the second informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mahabalipuram near Chennai on October 11-12.
In a brief statement, the external affairs ministry said Chinese President Xi Jinping would visit Chennai on October 11-12 for the informal summit, and he and Mr Modi would “continue their discussions on overarching issues of bilateral, regional and global importance and to exchange views on the deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership”. The two leaders had their first informal summit in Wuhan, China, on April 27-28, 2018.
The announcement came a day after India registered a “verbal protest” with Beijing over the “objectionable” comments by the Chinese ambassador to Pakistan in which he said China was working for Kashmiris to help them get their fundamental rights. Sources said the Chinese side has assured India that such remarks on Kashmir by its envoy in Islamabad was not the country’s position.
While there are indications India will not raise the Kashmir issue, sources said if Mr Xi wants to understand the issue, Mr Modi may take the opportunity to “explain” the reasons for the abrogation of Article 370 in J&K.
However, sources said that on Kashmir, India maintains it is an internal matter and was not open for any discussion on that, or to allow third party mediation.
Sino-Indian ties have seen some fresh strain in the past two months after India, in early August, revoked Article 370 and split J&K into two Union territories. China objected to it as the geographical boundaries of Ladakh UT (like J&K state) will encompass Aksai Chin, which is now under Chinese occupation and which Beijing regards as its territory. With Pakistan too strongly objecting to the Indian move, and Beijing backing its all-weather friend Islamabad at the UN recently, Pakistan is the proverbial elephant in the room when it comes to Sino-Indian ties.
The issue of terrorism — a key Indian concern — will also be raised strongly by Mr Modi during his talks with President Xi. “Terrorism will be discussed for sure. Training, financing and support in any form will be taken up by the Indian side,” sources said.
“Irritants in the relationship”, like the incursions and ways to deal with them in a better way, will also be discussed, sources added....