NO PROPOSAL FOR CHINA PRESIDENT XI JINPING TO VISIT INDIA AHEAD OF ELECTIONS

Beijing: There is no proposal for Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit India for the second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the next two months as speculated by a Japanese media report, highly placed sources said here Wednesday.

Japanese publication Nikkei Asian Review on Tuesday carried a report titled “Xi plans India visit, as diplomatic chess with US intensifies”.

The story said, “Xi intends to visit India as early as February in a move seen at countering Washington’s increasingly antagonistic trade policy and aggressive Indo-Pacific diplomacy.”

According to the report, Xi is expected to discuss with Modi measures to defuse border tensions as well as propose deals to expand imports of Indian farm products and increase cooperation in advanced technologies.

“Xi hopes to visit ahead of India’s general elections due by May. An Indian source said the visit would be in February at the earliest, but a Chinese source said it will be after China’s National People’s Congress in March,” it said.

Reacting to the report, official sources here told PTI that there is no such proposal for President Xi to visit India in the next two months after which India is poised for general elections.

In view of this, the visit by the Chinese President is expected to take place after the polls and after the new government takes charge, the sources said, adding that no preparations were currently underway for such a high-level visit.

Xi’s visit to India is due in 2019 after the informal summit between him and Modi at Wuhan in April last year. Both the sides had made it an institutional arrangement for such summits to take place every year to improve relations.

Wuhan summit was the first such high-level meeting ever between Indian and Chinese leaders. It was conceived by both the sides following the 2017 military standoff at Doklam which ratcheted up tensions between the two countries.

The two-day summit at Wuhan during which the two leaders closely interacted for hours on bilateral and international issues has paved the way for the two countries to normalise relations on all fronts putting behind the Doklam standoff.

Since then the two countries steadily normalised relations with intensified dialogue on various fronts, including the military and trade fronts.

Commerce Secretary Anup Wadhawan has concluded his two-day visit to China on Tuesday after talks with Chinese Vice Minister of Commerce Wang Shouwen and Zhang Jiwen, Chinese Vice Minister of General Administration of Customs of China (GACC), to enhance Indian exports to China to reduce the trade deficit of over USD 57 billion.

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