World News

China summit confirmed, with just two days to go

China summit confirmed, with just two days to go

India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host Chinese President Xi Jinping for an informal summit later this week, the Indian foreign ministry said, with the talks coming at a time when ties have been strained over the disputed region of Kashmir.

The two leaders held talks in the Chinese city of Wuhan previous year to help stabilise ties after a standoff on their disputed border and the meeting in the southern Indian city of Chennai on Oct 11-12 is meant to build on those personal ties.

But India's decision in August to withdraw special status for Kashmir drew sharp condemnation from Pakistan and its old ally, China, which took the matter to the U.N. Security Council.

"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 Indian foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday. Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi, in his speech at the United Nations general assembly, said that no unilateral action should be taken to change the status quo in Kashmir.

Ahead of Xi's trip to India, China invited Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan for talks.

The Chinese President will visit Chennai from October 11-12 for the second informal summit between India and China.

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The expanding ties between India and the United States and Modi's government's decision to endorse the Trump administration's Indo-Pacific strategy have also created an impression in China about India becoming part of a larger USA containment policy towards it.

"At the regional level, we should resolve disputes peacefully through dialogues and consultations and jointly uphold regional peace and stability", he said, noting that China-India ties transcend the bilateral dimension and have assumed global and strategic significance.

The two leaders will have an informal summit at Mamallapuram from October 11 to 13. A closed-door meeting of the UNSC on Kashmir where China maintained the same stand ended without any outcome or statement, in a snub to Beijing and Islamabad.

"On Article 370, matters relating to the constitution are internal and the idea of discussing this with anyone does not arise", the official said, adding that the decision to bifurcate the State of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories did not affect the boundary dispute in any way. China supports Pakistan in safeguarding its independent sovereignty and territorial integrity, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang said on Tuesday as he met Khan.

On 27 September, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi had raised the Kashmir issue in the UN General Assembly.

The second summit is expected to build on the relationship reset that began in Wuhan where Modi and Xi had agreed that "the two countries have the maturity and the wisdom to handle all our differences through peaceful discussion within the context of this overall relationship and bearing in mind that we would respect each other's sensitivities, concerns and aspirations". The delayed confirmation comes with less than two days to go for the summit. PM Modi had given "clear guidance" that it would have to be held outside the national capital, and at a historical place, given Mr. Xi's "interest in history and culture".


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