Posted on October 11, 2019, 11:31 AM IST
Close on the talks with Pakistani PM Imran Khan and on describing the issue of Kashmir Valley as an internal issue Chinese President Xi Jinping will arrive in India today for a second informal summit. The coastal town of Mamallapuram, near Tamil Nadu’s capital Chennai has been selected as the venue for this historic meet.
Mamallapuram has epic historical Chinese ties to the Fujian Province; the ancient coastal town has begun readying the red carpet for this meet. PM Modi and President Xi are expected to grace the seventh-century Shore Temple complex for discussing pressing issues.
The Chinese president is expected to arrive in Chennai around 2 pm and reach the town around 5 pm as central and state governmental agencies prepare for his welcome. President Xi’s itinerary includes visiting the three iconic monuments of Mamallapuram — Arjuna's Penance, Panch Rathas, and the Shore temple. The two leaders will then attend a cultural programme at the temple complex. They will sit together in the lawns of the Shore temple and swap views on charting a new roadmap of development and cooperation. Later, PM Modi will host an exclusive private dinner for President Xi at the temple complex.
On Saturday, the two leaders will conduct a one-on-one meeting at the Fisherman’s Cove resort and then hold delegation-level talks. They are expected to skip the Kashmir issue and hold discussions on trade growth, border conflicts and multilateral cooperation.
The smart city of Chennai is getting a makeover ahead of the meeting with graffiti walls being cleaned, electric poles donning neat covers. New fences built outside important monuments and the stone pavements renovated for a beautifying effect. The Madras High Court made it clear on Thursday that all leaders had to visit the state have to ensure that the city remains in mint condition during the important meeting. It also ordered to remove illegal banners and hoardings around the city.
Security measures remain beefed up in the state with the traffic police announcing major route changes within Chennai city limits and the outskirts. The routes remain closed for heavy vehicles on both the days of the summit.
Several government-owned Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation or TASMAC shops along the East Coast Road-Old Mahabalipuram road, are likely to remain shut during the meet. Around 19 government-owned alcohol shops are also expected to remain closed to avoid any disturbance during the Chinese president’s visit.
Fishing on the coastal areas of Kottivakkam in Chennai to Kadapakkam, located beyond Mamallapuram have been banned for four days. Security remains heightened along the coast where several patrol vehicles were deployed.
The meet comes in after China assured Pakistan on Wednesday that it was keeping a hawk eye on the Kashmir issue after the Indian administration revoked the state’s special status. India in return had responded saying that other nations should not comment on the country’s internal affairs.
India’s action in Jammu and Kashmir has become a bone of contention for Pakistan, whose interference led to the topic being taken up in the United Nations General Assembly last month. China was one of the few countries that backed Pakistan’s standpoint at the UNGA session.