NEW DELHI/BEIJING, Oct 9 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold their second informal summit in Tamil Nadu�s coastal town of Mamallapuram on October 11-12 to chart broader pathways for development, notwithstanding ties coming under strain over the Kashmir issue.
Two days ahead of Xi�s arrival in Chennai for the nearly 24-hour trip, government sources in New Delhi said there was no question of any discussion on the Kashmir issue as it is India�s sovereign matter, but added that Modi will update the Chinese President on the matter if there is a query.
The summit in the ancient coastal town in southern India will take place in the backdrop of China�s growing trade friction with the United States. Both leaders are likely to explore ways of expanding business ties. India is expected to raise the issue of ballooning trade deficit in China�s favour, the sources said.
They added that political relations, trade and ways to maintain peace and tranquillity along nearly 3,500-km-long Sino-Indian border will be major focus areas in the talks.
The first informal summit between the two leaders took place in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year months after a 73-day standoff between their armies in Doklam triggered fears of a war.
The perception that India�s decision around two months back to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir�s special status clouded preparations for the summit gained ground as both sides could announce the dates for Xi�s India visit only on Wednesday, barely 50 hours before the Chinese leader lands in Chennai.
The External Affairs Ministry and the Chinese Foreign Ministry made near simultaneous announcements on the visit.
Government sources in the Indian capital said Xi is expected to arrive in Chennai early afternoon on Friday. Modi will take him to the famous world heritage site of Shore temple complex in Mamallapuram and both of them will have a meeting at the site. Modi will also host a dinner for the Chinese leader.
On Saturday, both leaders will have an one-on-one meeting followed by delegation-level talks. The Chinese President is expected to leave for Nepal from Chennai around 2 pm on Saturday. Xi will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Wang Yi and a politburo member of the Chinese Communist Party.
On China�s objection to the declaration of Ladakh as a Union Territory, the sources said it was a demand of local population and the decision has in no way changed the respective perception of the boundary between the two countries.
The sources also termed the visit of the Pakistan Prime Minister to Beijing before Xi�s India trip a bilateral matter, saying the informal summit is �beyond one issue summit� and New Delhi does not see Imran Khan�s trip as an attempt by China to hyphenate the India and Pakistan relationship. � PTI