XIAN, CHINA: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping have begun talks in restricted format in the ancient city of Xian, where PM Modi arrived this morning to begin his three-day visit to China.
Here are the latest developments in the story:
- China has skipped protocol as it accords a “highest-level reception” to PM Modi in Xian, the capital of Shaanxi province and the hometown of President Xi Jinping.
- President Xi is accompanying the PM throughout his stay in Xian. PM Modi “will be given the highest-level reception”, the state-run China Daily said, adding that “It is very rare for Chinese leaders to accompany foreign guests outside Beijing.”
- This evening PM Modi will be hosted at a banquet by President Xi, before he flies to Beijing, where he will hold formal talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang and other leaders tomorrow.
- Trade is a major focus of this visit and India and China are expected to sign 20 business deals worth about $10 billion. PM Modi will also meet Indian and Chinese CEOs and address Industry in Shanghai on Saturday.
- Sources have told NDTV that the trade imbalance will figure high on the agenda. The trade deficit between India and China increased about 34 per cent to $48.43 billion in 2014-15 from $36.21 billion in the previous fiscal in China’s favour.
- No substantive developments are expected on the longstanding border dispute, though, sources say, some more confidence-building measures could be announced.
- India is expected to raise its concern over China’s plans for infrastructure projects in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir. India has formally objected to China routing an economic corridor through PoK, but Beijing dismissed objections, describing it as “a commercial project.”
- China’s stapled visas for residents of Arunachal Pradesh will also be raised, sources said. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet, a stand firmly refuted by India. Ahead of the visit, a state-run Chinese think tank said in an article that PM Modi should not visit Arunachal Pradesh to “further his political interests.”
- The PM’s arrival in Xian is being seen as a sign of the importance China is attaching to his visit and a reciprocal gesture after President Xi was hosted by the Indian Prime Minister in his home state of Gujarat last year.
- The PM began his visit with a tour of a famous terracotta warrior museum and will also visit the Wild Goose Pagoda, a spiritual structure built to highlight famous Chinese Buddhist monk Xuan Zang’s 17-year journey to India in 645 AD through the ancient Silk Road.
- cerdit: ndtv