India's foreign minister Jaishankar leaves for China ahead of second informal summit

WION New Delhi, India Aug 11, 2019, 03.08 PM(IST) Written By: Sidhant Sibal

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar in Rajya Sabha Photograph:( ANI )

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External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is on a pre-scheduled visit to Beijing from August 11-13 and left for China on Sunday.  

With focus on the second informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will meet Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi on Monday. 

Jaishankar is on a pre-scheduled visit to Beijing from August 11-13 and left for China on Sunday.  

Ahead of the visit, India called China an important partner. Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the ministry of external affairs said, "China is a very important partner. There are many channels available to us to discuss all bilateral issues."

Further adding Raveesh Kumar said, "It is expected that bilateral issues will come up for discussion. We will discuss the informal summit. We will also discuss how to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties."

PM Modi met the Chinese President in Kyrgyzstan earlier this year on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Summit and last year both met each other four times starting with the famous informal summit in Wuhan in April.

External Affairs Minister will co-chair the second meeting of the India-China High-Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges (HLM) along with his counterpart. 

The HLM aims to increase people-to-people ties and enhance engagement in areas such as tourism, art, films, media, culture, sports.

"The second HLM meeting will provide an opportunity to follow up on the outcomes of the first HLM meeting and discuss new initiatives for enhancing people-to-people exchanges between our two countries", MEA said in a statement.

The HLC was one of the key outcomes of the Wuhan informal meet and the first meet happened in Delhi in 2018 between Wang Yi and former external affairs minister S Jaishankar.

The visit of Indian foreign minister comes even as Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi went on an emergency visit to China to meet Wang Yi in the backdrop of India's internal decision to change the special status for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir. 

Qureshi met Wang Yi on Friday and in a release, the Chinese foreign ministry said, "Pakistan and India are both China’s friendly neighbours and major developing countries that are in a crucial stage of development", and called on the "two sides to proceed from their national development and peace in South Asia."

China has reacted negatively to New Delhi's decision on Jammu and Kashmir evoking a strong reaction New Delhi and said, "India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and similarly expects other countries to do likewise."