Trade, de­fence to top agenda at Modi-Xi meet on Oct 11-12

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - Times Nation - In­drani Bagchi & Saibal Das­gupta

New Delhi/Bei­jing: Trade, de­fence, se­cu­rity and stronger peo­ple ties be­sides the larger global sce­nario will fea­ture promi­nently in con­ver­sa­tions be­tween PM Naren­dra Modi and Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping when they meet for their sec­ond in­for­mal sum­mit in the his­toric set­ting of Ma­mal­la­pu­ram in coastal Tamil Nadu on Oc­to­ber 11-12.

In­dia and China waited un­til the prover­bial eleventh hour to an­nounce the muchawaite­d sum­mit be­tween the two lead­ers, a re­flec­tion of the cur­rent troughs in the bi­lat­eral re­la­tion­ship. It will be up to Modi and Xi to en­sure the progress at Wuhan last year is con­sol­i­dated when they meet for ex­tended dis­cus­sions.

There will be no out­come doc­u­ments but both sides will is­sue sep­a­rate state­ments af­ter the sum­mit. As in Wuhan, there is an ex­pec­ta­tion that the two lead­ers will is­sue an­other set of ‘strate­gic guid­ance’ to their re­spec­tive teams. Modi will be ac­com­pa­nied by for­eign min­is­ter S Jais­hankar and NSA Ajit Do­val, govern­ment sources said. Xi will bring with him a high power team of polit­buro mem­ber Yang Jieche and for­eign min­is­ter Wang Yi, who was made state coun­cil­lor ear­lier this year.

On de­fence and se­cu­rity, the two sides would be look­ing to up­date and add to con­fi­dence build­ing mea­sures (CBMs) to main­tain “peace and tran­quil­lity” on the bor­der. The two armies are ex­pected to hold the ‘ Hand-in­Hand’ ex­er­cise later this year.

A meet­ing of spe­cial rep­re­sen­ta­tives (Do­val and Yang) for bound­ary talks may be sched­uled as a re­sult of the sum­mit. Sources said ter­ror­ism would fea­ture promi­nently in the con­ver­sa­tions, though not Kash­mir.

Tak­ing for­ward the third coun­try part­ner­ship ini­tia­tive, sources here said In­dia and China, which had started train­ing Afghan diplo­mats, would ex­pand the ex­er­cise to train other civil ser­vants in Afghanista­n.

Full re­port on www.toi.in

Anan­tha Kr­ish­nan

Prepa­ra­tions un­der­way ahead of the sec­ond in­for­mal sum­mit be­tween PM Naren­dra Modi and Chi­nese Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping in Ma­mal­la­pu­ram

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