“Needless Speculation”: Sources On Belated PM-Xi Meet Announcement

“Needless Speculation”: Sources On Belated PM-Xi Meet Announcement

Chinese President Xi Jinping will be in India on a two-visit starting Friday, with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Xi Jinping meeting near Chennai Friday and Saturday, their third meeting since PM Modi’s re-election and their second informal meet since the Wuhan summit last year, the government said, formally announcing the dates today.

sources said there is “needless speculation” on why the Chinese President’s visit wasn’t announced until today.” We have had a clear confirmation for weeks but we had jointly decided to announce it only a couple of days earlier,” sources said.

The summit will take place in the ancient coastal town of Mamallapuram near Chennai. The two leaders had their inaugural informal summit in China’s Wuhan in April last year.

The idea is to build a personal connect in an informal summit apart from ties between countries, government sources said. No Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed and no joint statements will be issued during the meet which will be strictly informal, sources said.

“At the invitation of the Prime Minister, the President of the People’s Republic of China H.E. Mr. Xi Jinping will be visiting Chennai, India from October 11-12, 2019 for the 2nd Informal Summit,” the foreign ministry said. It said the Chennai Informal Summit will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to continue their discussions on overarching issues of bilateral, regional and global importance.

Trade, defence and border issues are expected to come up for the talks between PM Modi and Mr Xi, government sources said. India is looking at possible additional confidence-building measures for the India-China border which may be announced later when there are meetings on defence, sources said.

Ahead of Xi Jinping’s India visit, China said the Kashmir issue should be resolved between New Delhi and Islamabad, significantly omitting its recent references to the UN and UN Security Council resolutions.

“With all countries we have some issues that we don’t see eye to eye on. From our side, there are no actions that should cause concerns to Chinese side.There are some historical issues which are there,” said a government official.

“Our position is very clear that matters related to the Constitution are a sovereign issues. There is no question of a discussion unless the President of China wants to understand it,” government sources said hours after China made its stand clear.

sources say as far as Ladakh is concerned, India claims “a certain boundary in our maps, that’s our perception and the Chinese have their perception of the boundary and those haven’t changed after making Ladakh a Union Territory”.

Asked about the optics of Pakistan Prime Minsiter Imran Khan’s visit to Beijing on the eve of Mr Xi’s visit to India, government sources said, “It is not a matter of concern to us. Our summit is beyond a one issue summit. We don’t see it as a hyphenation of any kind. If China does, we can’t say.”

China’s stand marked a significant shift on what it has been saying on Jammu and Kashmir in recent weeks in the aftermath of the government’s move to end special status for Jammu and Kashmir under Article 370.

In its first reaction on August 6, the Chinese foreign ministry issued two separate statements. In another statement, China also expressed its opposition to India’s move to create a separate union territory of Ladakh.

Pakistan Army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa too landed in Beijing ahead of Imran Khan’s visit.

Preparations for the high-profile event are on in Tamil Nadu with the police announcing traffic restrictions due to the VVIP movement. Last week, the Madras High Court gave permission to the state government to put up banners to welcome PM Modi and Xi Jinping.

President Xi’s programme near Chennai includes a dance performance and a dinner hosted by PM Modi on Friday. Both leaders will hold more talks on the Friday morning before Mr Xi leaves that afternoon.

The first informal summit between PM Modi and Xi Jinping took place in picturesque Chinese lake city of Wuhan in April 2018, months after a 73-day long face off between the armies of the two countries in Doklam.

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