Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet at Mamallapuram on Friday to discuss bilateral issues .
A red-carpet welcome awaits Xi when he arrives at the ancient town around 5pm, with both the state and the central government agencies making all-out efforts .However, it is not yet clear whether the two leaders would raise the major issue of Kashmir during their informal talks.
sources told PM Modi will not avoid the issue of removal of Article 370 since it is an internal matter of India. However President Xi may ask some clarity on this .
There will be no statement or joint communiqué by both sides after the visit as it’s an informal and unstructured meet like the one in Wuhan last year.
On Thursday, the Chinese foreign ministry refused to discuss the Kashmir issue, only saying that China’s stand on it has remained consistent. In a statement, China said the Kashmir issue should be peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements.
One of the major agendas of the meeting will be new and updated confidence building measures (CBMs) along the border as well as trade and investment exchanges. China is also keen on getting India in its corner against the trade actions taken by US President Donald Trump, which have shaken up the Chinese economy.
Officials said Xi will arrive at the Chennai airport around 2 pm and then head off to a luxury hotel. At 5 pm, Modi will go with Xi to three iconic monuments of Mamallapuram — Arjuna’s Penance, Panch Rathas, and the Shore temple. The two leaders then will witness a cultural programme at the temple complex. They will sit together in the lawns of the Shore temple and exchange views on charting a new roadmap of development and coöperation. Later, Modi will host a private dinner for Xi.
On Saturday, the two leaders will have a one-on-one meeting at the Fisherman’s Cove resort to be followed by delegation-level talks. Modi will later host a lunch for Xi, and the Chinese leader will leave for Chennai airport at 12:45 pm.