Monuments at Mamallapuram to remain shut during Modi-Xi summit

Clay Curtis
October 9, 2019

Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host President Xi Jinping for an "informal summit" this week, India and China confirmed at short notice Wednesday as growing differences dog the two Asian giants' historically prickly relations.

While there has been no official announcement of the visit, which is expected to take place on October 11 and 12, the Ministry of External Affairs has started the process of registration for the informal summit - but without specifying the dates.

But India's decision in August to withdraw special status for Kashmir drew sharp condemnation from Pakistan and its old ally, China, which took the matter to the U.N. Security Council. Government sources said there was "needless speculation" on why the Chinese President's visit wasn't announced till today.

This is the second informal summit between Modi and Xi.

On the long running border dispute between India and China, a legacy of their 1962 war, the person cited above said the Xi-Modi summit will not have any "specific negotiations or discussions on this subject or for that matter on any other subject".

According to a person familiar with the developments, "our objective (through the mechanism of the informal summit) is to ensure that communication between leaders is one which is routinised, easy going and its one that indicates that President XI Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are getting down to business in an informal way not simply in a structured summit. but in a much more practical way of several hours of one to one discussion at which any subject can be discussed". Reports suggest that the two leaders will hold informal talks on October 12 at a five-star hotel overlooking the Bay of Bengal.

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Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang's comments marked a significant shift on what China has been saying on Kashmir in recent weeks in the aftermath of India's move to revoke Article 370 of the Constitution removing the special status to Kashmir.

A letter written by Kancheepuram Collector P. Ponniah to the Superintendent, ASI, Chennai, reads that the Kancheepuram Superintendent of Police said the Chinese President faced high level of threat from various militant/terrorist organisations.

The two leaders will have an informal summit at Mamallapuram from October 11 to 13. A closed-door meeting of the UNSC on Kashmir where China maintained the same stand ended without any outcome or statement, in a snub to Beijing and Islamabad.

China's foreign ministry had thundered in August after the Kashmir decision, which will see the Ladakh region of J&K become a separate Indian administrative territory, that India had "continued to undermine China's territorial sovereignty by unilaterally changing its domestic law".

It is also incidental that the moderation in the Chinese stance comes at a time when Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan and army chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa are in Beijing, to further cement the close ties between China and Pakistan.

China has deepened ties with India's neighbours, building ports and power stations in an arc stretching from Bangladesh to Sri Lanka and Pakistan as part of its grand Belt and Road energy and infrastructure plan. India is expected to raise the issue of ballooning trade deficit in China's favour, the sources said.

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