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PM Modi, Chinese President Xi Jinping Attend Cultural Program At Shore Temple

New Delhi, News Nation Bureau | Updated : 11 October 2019, 10:41 PM
PM Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping
PM Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping (Photo Credit : Twitter/PM Narendra Modi )

In the backdrop of 7th century rock-cut chariots of Pancha Ratha overlooking the Bay of Bengal, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping sipped coconut water and engaged in casual interaction in a serene setting on Friday, sending signs of positive atmospherics in bilateral ties strained over Kashmir.

PM Modi, dressed in a Tamil attire of ‘Veshti’ (Dhoti), white shirt and an ‘angavastram’ (shawl), took Xi for a guided tour of the famous world heritage sites of Arjuna’s Penance, Krishna’s Butterball, the Pancha Ratha and Shore temple in this ancient temple town, kicking off the second informal summit between the two leaders.

“The free flowing nature of the informal summit at the UNESCO world heritage site will continue and deepen contacts at the highest level and guide the future trajectory of India-China relationship,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Ravesh Kumar tweeted.

Xi’s visit to India comes two days after he held talks with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing. After the talks, a joint statement said China is paying “close attention” to the situation in Kashmir and that the issue should be properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter. The comments evoked sharp reaction from New Delhi.

Shortly after Xi’s aircraft touched down in Chennai, government sources said the two leaders are expected to issue some directions at the end of the summit on Saturday as they did after the first edition of new format of engagement in Chinese city of Wuhan last year.

Officials on both sides said the focus of the Modi-Xi summit would be to move forward and chart a new pathway of development notwithstanding sharp differences between the two countries over several contentious issues.

In the footage beamed by public broadcaster Doordarshan of the two leaders visiting the magnificent monuments, Modi was seen warmly explaining to the Chinese leader the historical significance of the monuments with the dazzling setting sun casting a soft glow over the iconic site.

Xi, wearing a white shirt and black trouser, was seen showing keen interest in the famous caves and stone sculptures in the heritage site in this coastal town which had historical links with China’s Fujian province.

Modi and Xi, assisted by one translator from each side, sat down for around 15 minutes at Pancha Ratha complex, an example of monolithic Indian rock-cut architecture, and engaged in casual talks while sipping coconut water - images reflecting warmth in personal chemistry between the two leaders of two emerging economies.

From Pancha Ratha, the two leaders visited the beautifully lit-up Shore temple - a symbol of cultural heritage of the Pallava dynasty. After spending some time together, Modi and Xi were joined by top delegates of both sides and all them witnessed a cultural programme presented by Kalakshetra society.

After the event, Modi hosted Xi for a private dinner at the Shore temple complex which was beautifully decorated with lights and flowers. Eight delegates from each side were also invited for the dinner and they sat in tables little away from Xi and Modi’s. Delicately selected authentic Tamil cuisines including vegetarian and non-vegetarian dishes were served in the dinner.

At the site of Krishna’s butterball, a gigantic granite boulder sitting firmly on the slope of a hillock, Modi held Xi’s hands, reflecting warmth in their personal chemistry.

“Standing together and tall!,” said Kumar in a Twitter post.

LIVE UPDATES: 

10.00 pm: 

8.00 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are at the Shore Temple enjoying the ambience around.    

7.07 pm: 

7.06 pm: 

6.25 pm: 

6.13 pm: 

6.10 pm: PM Narendra Modi takes Chinese President Xi Jinping to a guided tour of Shore Temple in Mahabalipuram.

5.44 pm: 

5.40 pm: 

5.39 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi serves coconut water to Chinese President Xi Jinping.  

5.28 pm: 

5.20 pm: PM Modi and Xi Jinping reaches Krishna's Butterball.

5.18 pm: 

5.15 pm: 

5.11 pm: 

5.05 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi receives Chinese President Xi Jinping at Mahabalipuram.

5.03 pm: Prime Minister Narendra Modi reaches Mahabalipuram: 

4.55 pm: 

4.48 pm

4.27 pm: 

4.00 pm: Chinese President Xi Jinping leaves for Mahabalipuram from Chennai. President Xi and PM Narendra will hold their second informal summit in the city, later today.

3.30 pm: Ahead of the summit, the state media said the Modi-Xi meeting would focus 'more' on how to move beyond the past and present differences to forge a cooperative partnership.  

2:19 PM

 Chinese President Xi Jinping was received by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, CM Edappadi K. Palaniswami, deputy CM O Panneerselvam among others.

Meanwhile, ANI has revealed that duration of engagement between Prime Minister Modi and President Xi will be 6 hours. One-on-one meeting will be for almost 40 minutes. Both sides will issue press statements after the meeting. Local Tamil cuisine will be served to President Xi at dinner today. 

2:00 PM

Chinese President Xi Jinping has arrived in Chennai

11:35 AM

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrives in Chennai

 

10 AM

President Xi leaves for India 

 Chinese President Xi Jinping has left for India for the second informal meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. He will arrive at Tamil Nadu capital Chennai late afternoon. The Chinese President is due to leave for Nepal on Saturday afternoon.

9:30 AM

Who is coming with President Xi?

Chinese President Xi Jinping's entourage includes Ding Xuexiang, member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China (CPC), member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee, and director of the General Office of the CPC, Yang Jiechi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC and director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and He Lifeng, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference and head of the National Development and Reform Commission.

9 AM

Indian Navy and Indian Coast Guard have deployed warships to provide security to the meeting between PM Modi and President Xi at Mamallapuram. These warships have been deployed at some distance from shore to provide security from any seaborne threat. READ FULL STORY

8 AM

Here's the expected itinerary of the summit

  • President Xi Jinping is expected to arrive after 2 PM in Chennai and off to his hotel. From there he will head to the coastal town of Mamallapuram.  A red-carpet welcome awaits President Xi when he arrives in Mallapuram around 5 pm. 
  • PM Modi will take Xi to three iconic monuments of Mamallapuram -- Arjuna's Penance, Panch Rathas and the Shore temple. Then the two leaders will witness a cultural programme at the temple complex.
  • They will sit together in the lawns of the Shore temple and exchange views on charting a new roadmap of development and cooperation.Then, the prime minister will host a private dinner for Xi at the temple complex.
  • On Saturday, the two leaders will have an one-on-one meeting at the Fisherman's Cove resort which will be followed by delegation-level talks.
  • After the talks, Modi will host a lunch for Xi, and the Chinese leader will leave for Chennai airport at 12:45 pm.
First Published: Friday, October 11, 2019 10:45 AM
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