Prime Minister Narendra Modi today took Chinese President Xi Jinping for a tour of the temples of Mahabalipuram, now known as Mamallapuram, hours after Xi arrived in Chennai to a grand welcome for his second informal meeting with PM Modi since they met in China’s Wuhan in April last year. PM Modi had then invited President Xi to India for a reprise. “Welcome to India, President Xi Jinping!” PM Modi tweeted. PM Modi was in a crisp white traditional attire of Tamil Nadu, called the veshti, while the Chinese President came in a white shirt and black pants, as they walked about the rocky lawns of the temples. The two leaders have a packed schedule that includes informal and delegation-level talks and lunch and dinner meets. President Xi’s visit comes after the two sides exchanged sharp words over Kashmir following Xi’s meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan two days ago.
Here are the top 10 points on PM Modi, Xi Jinping Summit in Mamallapuram, Chennai:
The key free-wheeling one-on-one meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi will take place on Saturday morning. The two leaders will have six hours of one-on-one talks and separate statements will be issued, government sources said. The aim, they said, is to build contacts at the highest level and exchange views on key issues. Sources said terrorism, including training, financing and any other support to terror groups, will be one of the key issues to be discussed. Others will be trade, defence and border issues. Sources say both sides are also looking at possible confidence-building measures for the India-China border, which may be announced later. President Xi landed in Chennai a little before 2 pm in an Air China Boeing 747 aircraft, from where he will proceed to Mahabalipuram. He was received by Tamil Nadu Chief Minister E K Palaniswami, Governor Banwarilal Purohit and Speaker of the Tamil Nadu Assembly P Dhanapal. A brief cultural ceremony was organised to honour the Chinese leader. PM Modi landed in Chennai at around 11:30 am. The Prime Minister is expected to show him around three of the site's ancient monuments - Arjuna's Penance, Panch Rathas and the Shore Temple. The two leaders will also watch a cultural programme with Shore temple as the backdrop. During PM Modi's visit to Wuhan, President Xi had given him a personal tour of the Hubei provincial Museum. On Saturday morning, the two leaders will hold their informal meet at the Taj Fisherman's Cove Resort & Spa, which will be followed by delegation-level talks. PM Modi will also host President Xi for dinner and lunch with local Tamil cuisine. The first informal summit between PM Modi and Xi Jinping took place Wuhan, a picturesque Chinese lake city, months after a 73-day face-off between the armies of the two countries in Doklam last year. The meet threw up new guidelines for the military of both nations as part of moving beyond Doklam and "maintaining peace and tranquillity" on border areas. The two nations had agreed that maintaining peace at the border is essential for growth in bilateral ties. On Wednesday, Beijing said Xi Jinping had assured support to Pakistan on issues related to its "core interests". State-owned Xinhua News Agency also quoted him as saying that although the "right and wrong" of the situation were clear, India and Pakistan should resolve the situation through peaceful dialogue. Later on Wednesday evening, a joint statement after President Xi and Imran Khan's meeting, said Jammu and Kashmir should be "properly and peacefully resolved based on the UN Charter, relevant UN Security Council resolutions and bilateral agreements." In its response, India said, "India's position has been consistent and clear that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India. China is well aware of our position. It is not for other countries to comment on the internal affairs of India". The government has also maintained that the move in Jammu and Kashmir and making Ladakh a union territory is an internal matter.