PM Modi & Chinese Prez Xi Jinping Will Discuss Regional & Global Issues

THE stage is set for the second round of interaction between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Tamil Nadu’s coastal town of Mamallapuram on October 11-12. They are likely discuss pathway for development and as to how deepen mutual cooperation and friendship. This will be their first meet after China had supported Pakistan in the just concluded United Nations General Assembly opposing abrogation of special status in Jammu & Kashmir and converting it into two Union Territories. In New Delhi, official sources ruled out any discussion on the Kashmir issue saying it is India’s sovereign matter adding PM Modi will update    the Chinese President on the matter if there is a query. The summit will take place in the backdrop of China’s growing trade friction with the United States. Both leaders are likely to explore ways of expanding business ties. India is expected to raise the issue of ballooning trade deficit in China’s favour. Political relations, trade and ways to maintain peace and tranquillity along about 3,500-km-long Sino-Indian border will be major focus areas in the talks. The first informal summit between the two leaders took place in the Chinese city of Wuhan on April 27-28 last year after a 73-day standoff between their armies in Doklam triggered fears of a war. The perception that India’s decision around two months back to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir’s special status clouded preparations for the summit gained ground as both sides could announce the dates for Xi’s India visit only on Wednesday, 50 hours before the Chinese leader lands in Chennai. The India’s External Affairs Ministry and the Chinese Foreign Ministry made near simultaneous announcements on the visit. Official sources in New Delhi said Xi is expected to arrive in Chennai early afternoon on Friday. Modi will take him to the famous world heritage site of Shore temple complex in Mamallapuram and both of them will have a meeting at the site. Modi will also host a dinner for the Chinese leader. Both leaders will have an one-on-one meeting followed by delegation-level talks. The Chinese President is expected to leave for Nepal from Chennai around 2 pm on Saturday. Xi will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Wang Yi and a politburo member of the Chinese Communist Party. Asked about China’s objection to the declaration of Ladakh as a Union Territory, the sources said it was a demand of local population and the decision has in no way changed the respective perception of the boundary between the two countries. Meanwhile, ahead of the India-China summit, the ancient coastal town near Chennai has been virtually turned into a fortress with unprecedented security arrangements while the beautification and other preparations touched a feverish pitch. A Coast Guard ship is stationed off the Shore Temple here and more than 5,000 police personnel  drawn from various parts of Tamil Nadu  have been deployed in and around the town and nearby places including the Old Mahabalipuram Road and the East Coast Road as part of security measures, police said on Wednesday. Behind the shore temple, while a CG ship has been stationed at a distance another one was spotted on patrol by a visiting PTI correspondent. Asked about the deployment, a defence official said “this is nothing unusual” and declined to elaborate. Reflecting the high levels of security requirement for the two top leaders, dozens of temporary police outposts have been set up in and around the town which will be under the watch of 800 CCTV cameras. In control rooms, the town’s roads, and access points to the shore are being monitored 24×7 while vehicle screening has been intensified. Barricades have been put up on the beach near the shore temple, one of the places to be visited by Modi and Xi, while a make-shift wall has been erected along its compound on the side where a string of shops are located. The wall towering over the shops, which will remain shut, sported ‘rangoli’ art work in some stretches with the background painted in red colour. Local fishermen have been asked to stay away from the sea from Thursday, officials said. Plainclothesmen are swarming the town roads and the Inspection Bungalow is being guarded by top state and police officials. The Special Protection Group and bomb disposal squad personnel are “keeping all the areas including the group of monuments to be visited by the two leaders sanitised.”Over two dozen sniffer dogs have also been pressed into service as part of the security arrangements, police said.The cleaning up and beautification work of the monuments and various other places entered the last stretch with the involvement of hundreds of civic, sanitary and other workers. Workers have been using high power air compressor- based equipment to clean up the locations in and around the monuments. In a painstaking effort, scribbling made by visitors on various monuments were removed by the personnel of the chemical branch of the Archaeological Survey of India, officials said.The entire coastal town has been dotted with around 100 ornamental lights while welcome arches have been erected at the entry point to the town. Besides, banners with a red background and images of the two leaders posing with a smile neatly embossed will be placed in key locations, officials said.The welcome messages are in Tamil followed by Hindi and Chinese next (edited by Pranab Kumar Chakravarty)

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