Modi-Xi second informal summit: Focus on border security, boosting trade and bilateral ties 

WION Web Team New Delhi, India Oct 11, 2019, 11.49 AM(IST) Edited By: Sparshita Saxena

File photo. Photograph:( PTI )

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Last year, PM Modi visited Wuhan in China for the first informal summit. Former External Affairs Minister late Sushma Swaraj had termed the meeting a 'milestone in bilateral relations'. 

The agenda for the second India-China informal summit seems definite - talks on boosting bilateral ties, trade, connectivity, border security and resolving regional and global issues. The informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will take place in Tamil Nadu's Mahabalipuram/Mamallapuram.

On the first day of Jinping's visit on Friday, he will meet PM Modi in Mamallapuram and visit some UNESCO world heritage sites in the evening. On Saturday, Modi and Xi will have one-to-one meeting followed by delegation-level talks.

Bilateral, regional issues

During the informal summit, President Xi and PM Modi are expected to hold discussions on bilateral, regional and global importance and exchange views on deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement. 

No MoUs

According to the Ministry of External Affairs, no Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) will be signed between India and China. The nature of the summit will essentially be similar to the first summit that took place in Wuhan, China last year.

Border security, confidence-building 

The leaders are expected to agree on new security measures along the unsettled border, officials said, in an effort to smooth ties ruffled by differences over Kashmir, news agency Reuters reported. 

The two sides will move forward on a set of confidence-building measures, an Indian source briefed on the discussions told Reuters.

"Priority will be given to enhancing confidence-building measures and people-to-people exchanges," Reuters quoted a second government source.

Territorial disputes, trade deficit, 5G

The prime minister will also hold one-to-one talks designed for a free exchange of ideas on issues ranging from territorial disputes to India's ballooning trade deficit with China and the question of allowing Chinese telecoms equipment maker Huawei into India's 5G network.

"Xi will have in-depth communication with Modi on issues that have overall, long-term and strategic significance on bilateral relations, set the tune and guide the direction for the future development of the ties," Chinese state media quoted Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui as saying.

Differences remain

The meet comes in the backdrop of Beijing supporting Islamabad in raising the matter of abrogation of Article 370. 

China had criticised New Delhi's move on Kashmir. Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi raised the matter at the UN General Assembly last month.

India continues to maintain that the abrogation of Article 370 is an internal matter.

Wuhan - a milestone!

Last year, PM Modi visited Wuhan in China for the first informal summit. Former External Affairs Minister late Sushma Swaraj had termed the meeting a "milestone in bilateral relations". 

She added, "the armies of both countries are making effort to strengthen contacts and implement confidence-building measures. This will help to promote peace and tranquillity at India-China border which is an important prerequisite for the smooth development of bilateral relations."

The prime minister had said that the Wuhan summit provided "stability and momentum" to India-China ties. 

The decision to establish the India-China High-Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges was taken during the Wuhan informal summit. 

(With inputs from agencies)