Thursday, 17 October, 2019

"Needless Speculation": Sources On Belated PM-Xi Meet Announcement: 10 Points

India's Narendra Modi to host China's Xi Jinping at summit, with ties strained by Kashmir Modi-Xi summit could pave way for launch of LAC clarification process
Patty Aguilar | 09 October, 2019, 16:19

The first informal summit between Modi and Xi took place in picturesque Chinese lake city Wuhan in April 2018, months after a 73-day long face off between the armies of the two countries in Doklam tri-junction in Sikkim sector raised fears of a war between the two Asian giants.

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host Chinese President Xi Jinping for an informal summit later this week, the Indian foreign ministry said, with the talks coming at a time when ties have been strained over the disputed region of Kashmir. "China encourages Chinese companies to invest in India and hopes that India will provide a more fair, friendly and convenient business environment for Chinese companies to operate in India", Sun said.

"We have had a clear confirmation for weeks but we had jointly made a decision to announce it only a couple of days earlier", said a senior official, The visit comes after a series of irritants between both countries in recent weeks over India's moves in Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh, which saw Beijing openly criticise New Delhi at the UN Security Council meeting.

Sources said no agreements, MoUs or joint communique are expected to be signed as this is an informal summit. He said the India-China relationship is not only confined to bilateral ties, but has important regional and global dimensions.

The Chinese President will visit Chennai from October 11-12 for the second informal summit between India and China. Meeting between them has no specific agenda, said sources while adding that the focus of the meeting will be on improving people to people contact and on how to maintain peace and tranquillity along the India-China border.

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Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang's comments marked a significant shift on what China has been saying on Kashmir in recent weeks in the aftermath of India's move to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution removing the special status to Kashmir. There will be delegation-level talks and a private lunch between the two leaders before Xi departs from Chennai.

India says its revocation of the special status of Muslim-majority Kashmir, which was accompanied by a crackdown on dissent by the security forces, is an internal matter aimed at developing the Himalayan territory, which is also claimed by Pakistan, more quickly. But more importantly, China refrained from mentioning the UN Security Council resolution and UN charter, as it had done earlier in its statements on Kashmir, including at the UN General Assembly last month. China supports Pakistan in safeguarding its independent sovereignty and territorial integrity, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday as he met Mr Khan.

The two sides could discuss issues relating to Ladakh, China's 5G network policy, counter-terrorism and sustainable marine economy.

India had been preparing for the talks on Friday and Saturday but there had been speculation that they might be postponed because of differences over several issues.

China has deepened ties with India's neighbours, building ports and power stations in an arc stretching from Bangladesh to Sri Lanka and Pakistan as part of its grand Belt and Road energy and infrastructure plan.

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