Mon, 21 Oct 2019

New Delhi [India], Oct 10 (ANI): The historical coastal town of Mahabalipuram in Tamil Nadu will provide the setting for the second informal meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping as the two leaders will have tete-e-tete as also delegation level talks to strengthen bilateral ties.

Xi will arrive at the Chennai International Airport on Friday afternoon, while the Indian Prime Minister would reach the city shortly before noon.

The two leaders would meet in Mahabalipuram in the evening and visit some UNESCO world heritage sites.

They will have guided tour of three monuments - Arjuna's penance, an intricately carved ancient sculpture; Krishna's Butter Ball - a big round boulder perched on a slope; and Pancha Rathas - a five chariots monument complex.

The historical city also has a China connection and has had ancient maritime links with the country during the Pallava dynasty.

Mahabalipuram was a major port city in the 7th century and served as a gateway for import and export of goods from and to South India.

A cultural programme will be organised in the honour of the visiting leader at the Shore Temple on Friday evening. Modi will then host the Chinese President for dinner.

On Saturday, Modi and Xi will have one-to-one meeting followed by delegation-level talks.

National Security Advisor (NSA) Ajit Doval and External Affairs Jaishankar and Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will be among those present.

No Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs), agreements would be signed or joint communique issued.

Government sources had earlier told ANI that the structure of informal meeting between the two leaders would be similar to the first informal summit between the two leaders in April last year in Wuhan.

The objective of the meeting is likely to be the exchange of views on regional and global issues, finding a broad pathway on bilateral relations, and discussing ways to build better connections between the two countries.

Issues pertaining to trade, increased market access for products like soybean and non-basmati rice, as well as terrorism, sourcing, financing, and origins of terror are expected to come up during the talks.

Shortly before Xi's departure for Nepal, Modi will host lunch in honour of the Chinese President on Saturday afternoon.

This is not the first time that the Prime Minister is hosting Xi outside the national capital. In 2014, Modi had welcomed the Chinese President at Ahembdabad. (ANI)

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