New Delhi: Chinese President Xi Jinping is all set to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the second informal summit in Mamallapuram on Friday.
“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 and to exchange views on deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership,” the Chinese foreign ministry said in a statement.
It was on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at Bishkek in June that Prime Minister Narendra Modi invited Chinese President Xi Jinping for the second informal summit to be held at Mamallapuram.
The first informal summit between the two leaders was held in Wuhan from 27-28th April 2018 and produced mixed results.
The historical significance of the place will be clear to the Chinese. It was this place in the state of Tamil Nadu which had the great Pallavan dynasty. The Chinese king sought the help of a Pallavan king in the 6th century A.D. to defend his kingdom against the Tibetans invaders.
Meanwhile, according to reports, the Chinese President will be accompanied by China’s Foreign Minister and Politburo members, on his visit to India.
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What is expected to be discussed and agreed to by the two leaders? Let us have a look at some of the issues:
1.Boundary dispute settlement- There is some clarity expected to emerge in this issue which has remained as a major irritant between the two sides. The 4056 km disputed Line of Actual Control (LAC) has seen many flare ups and has also seen efforts to defuse the tensions and settle the dispute.
As per sources, the two nations may reach an agreement and further movement on this issue is expected.
2. Issue of a trade dispute- India has a trade deficit of about US $60 billion with China. After the Wuhan Summit, China has imported more quantity of Rice and Sugar from India and established IT corridors in China. However, this appears to be a drop in the ocean and more needs to be done in this regard. A further agreement in this regard will be of critical importance to the overall bilateral relations. After having experienced a trade war with the US, China cannot afford to lock horns with India over this issue. It will be in its interest to agree to a fair deal with respect to India.
3. Issue of Jammu and Kashmir- China has been opposed to the amendments to Article 370 of the Indian constitution and the ending of special status to the former state of the Jammu and Kashmir. External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar has assured the Chinese that carving out of Ladakh as a Union territory will not affect the boundary dispute between the two nations.
China bidding on behalf of the rogue state Pakistan is a cause for concern for India.
4. China’s support to Pakistan sponsored terrorism- Terrorism is a threat to humanity and China has been keen on extending support to those who perpetrate acts of terror as a state policy.
The recent conduct in FATF, blacklisting of Pak entities in the UNSC leaves much to be desired.
5. Connectivity projects- There is an agreement expected on the issue of BCIM corridor project (Bangladesh-China-India- Myanmar). This project falls outside the ambit of the One Belt One Road project of the Chinese which Indians are opposed to due to various reasons.
In a press conference, the EAM has clarified that there is no re think on the issue of OBOR.
Other issues to be discussed include the recent trade war between China and the US, security in the Indo-Pacific region, developments in the region, joint projects to be undertaken and India’s trials of 5G technology.
However, according to sources, there is no agreement or Memorandum of agreement expected to be signed as it is an informal summit.