Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit India for an informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Chennai from October 11-12, the External Affairs Ministry said. The summit will be held in the coastal town of Mamallapuram. It said the forthcoming Chennai Informal Summit will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to continue their discussions on overarching issues of bilateral, regional and global importance.
“At the invitation of the Prime Minister, the President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping will be visiting Chennai, India from October 11-12, 2019 for the 2nd Informal Summit,” the ministry said.
The meeting marks the completion of 70 years of diplomatic relations between India and China.
In June this year, PM Modi and Jinping met on the sidelines of SCO Summit is Bishkek. Calling his meeting with Jinping ‘extremely fruitful’ PM Modi had said, ‘We shall continue working together to improve economic and cultural ties between our nations.’ Xi reciprocated Modi’s gesture as he said, “China is ready to work with India to continuously advance the closer development partnership between the two countries.”
Moreover, China has for long been derailing India’s efforts to become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group which widened the rift between both the countries. India, on the other hand, has been apprehensive of China’s Belt and Road initiative. These can be the major areas of discussion when both leaders hold talks later this year. The first informal summit in Wuhan provided the breakthrough in Sino-India relations after standoff in Doklam.
However, ahead of Xi Jinping’s visit to India, Beijing has moderated its stand on Kashmir and said that the issue should be resolved bilaterally between Islamabad and New Delhi. The statement holds significance as it has been made at a time when Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan is in China for talks with Jinping.
"China's position on the Kashmir issue is clear and consistent. We call on India and Pakistan to engage in dialogue and consultation on all issues including Kashmir issue and consolidate mutual trust. This is in line with the interest of both countries and common aspiration of the world," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Geng Shuang said when asked comment on whether the Kashmir issue would figure during talks Imran Khan.
China's comments marked a significant shift on what China has been saying on Kashmir in recent weeks.