National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Tuesday held talks with China’s top diplomat and State Councillor Yang Jiechi to finalise the arrangements for Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to India expected to take place next week.
Mr. Doval arrived in Beijing on Monday as the Special Representative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to make final preparations for Mr. Xi’s visit.
The two officials met at the Diaoyutai Guest house to finalise the schedule and agenda for Mr. Xi’s visit.
Welcoming Doval, Mr. Yang who is also China’s Special Representative for China-India border talks, said he highly appreciates Mr. Doval’s visit.
It speaks volumes about the importance the Indian side attaches to Mr. Xi’s visit and bilateral relations, he said.
“We believe that with specific efforts from both sides President’s visit will be a full success and bilateral relations will be taken to higher level,” he said.
Expressing happiness over Mr. Doval taking over as NSA, Mr. Yang appreciated his contribution to the bilateral ties.
Appreciating the gesture to receive him at a short notice, Mr. Doval said he had brought a special message for Mr. Xi from the Prime Minister’s side. Mr. Doval is due to meet Mr. Xi later in the day.
During his visit to India, Mr. Xi is expected to announce major Chinese investments as well as hold talks with Modi on border dispute as well as China’s plans to revive a number of Silk Road Projects including the Maritime Silk Road.
Mr. Doval’s visit comes in the immediate backdrop of the cancellation of Mr. Xi’s visit to Islamabad planned as part of his first visit to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India.
Dates for the visit of Mr. Xi, also the General Secretary of the Communist Party of China, have not yet been officially announced by both sides.
Initially, Mr. Xi was to pay a three-day visit to New Delhi from September 17.
Speculation is rife that in view of the cancellation of the visit to Pakistan, Mr. Xi may arrive in India earlier and may visit Mr. Modi’s home State Gujarat before he lands in New Delhi.
Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, who visited Beijing twice including early this month, has laid ground for Mr. Xi’s visit by holding extensive talks with Chinese officials on the package of investments as well as measures to address India’s concerns of trade deficit.
China and India are in discussions to modernise Indian railways. China plans to invest in industrial parks, locations of which are expected to be announced by Mr. Xi.
Besides finalising the schedule, Mr. Doval’s visit is expected to focus on the political aspects of Mr. Xi’s tour, including issues related to the boundary dispute and new routes for Kailash and Manasarovar Yatra.
Mr. Yang as China’s Special Representative for boundary negotiations held two rounds of talks with Doval’s predecessor, Shivshankar Menon.
The two sides held 17 rounds of talks and reached a stage to focus on the framework to resolve the dispute.
The next stage was stated to be exchange of maps about the mutual perception of the Line of Actual Control (LAC).
Both the countries have signed a Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) in 2013 to ensure peace and tranquillity at the LAC pending the settlement of the border dispute.