Modi-Xi summit could pave way for launch of LAC clarification process

India's Narendra Modi to host China's Xi Jinping at summit, with ties strained by Kashmir

The famed Mamallapuram/Mahabalipuram, a seaside heritage town 60 km south of Chennai, is being given a facelift as it gears up to host the leaders of the two of the most populace countries - Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Sources said no agreements, MoUs or joint communique are expected to be signed as this is an informal summit.

But New Delhi's decision in August to withdraw special status for occupied Kashmir drew sharp condemnation from Pakistan and its ally China, which took the matter to the United Nations Security Council.

"At the regional level, we should resolve disputes peacefully through dialogues and consultations and jointly uphold regional peace and stability", he said.

"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 statement added. Xi will be accompanied by foreign minister Wang Yi and a polit bureau member of the Chinese Communist Party.

This is the second informal summit between Modi and Xi.

According to a person familiar with the developments, "our objective (through the mechanism of the informal summit) is to ensure that communication between leaders is one which is routinised, easy going and its one that indicates that President XI Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are getting down to business in an informal way not simply in a structured summit. but in a much more practical way of several hours of one to one discussion at which any subject can be discussed".

The announcement of Xi's visit comes just two days before the summit which had led to speculation about whether the meeting would be held at all. They added that political relations, trade and ways to maintain peace and tranquility along almost 3,500 KM long Sino-India border will be major focus areas in the talks.

India will make clear that any change to its Jammu and Kashmir state is an internal affair if the Chinese side were to raise the matter in the talks, a government source said.

The two leaders will have an informal summit at Mamallapuram from October 11 to 13. "There should be a justified solution to the issue of Kashmir", Yao Jing was quoted as saying by the Pakistani media. 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.

Khan who arrived on Tuesday held talks with Premier Li Keqiang and expected to meet Xi on Wednesday.

The two sides could discuss issues relating to Ladakh, China's 5G network policy, counter-terrorism and sustainable marine economy. "So, at present, the relationship between China and India has reached a very delicate point", said Cheng Xiaohe at the Department of International Politics at Renmin University.

India and China, home to more than a third of humanity, also have differences over trade, with both wanting greater market access, even if they share a common adversary in US President Donald Trump.

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