India-China summit: Final round of talks between Modi, Xi starts at Kovalam

The meeting is scheduled to last for nearly three hours and is likely to focus on border security issues, trade, issues pertaining to terrorism and culture issues.

Published: 12th October 2019 09:21 AM  |   Last Updated: 12th October 2019 11:28 AM   |  A+A-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Fisherman's Cove in Kovalam near Mamallapuram Saturday Oct. 12 2019. | (Photo | Twitter)

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Chinese President Xi Jinping at Fisherman's Cove in Kovalam near Mamallapuram Saturday Oct. 12 2019. | (Photo | Twitter)

Express News Service

MAHABALIPURAM: The final round of the India-China informal summit started on Saturday at Fisherman’s Cove resort in Kovalam as PM Narendra Modi welcomed Chinese President Xi Jinping at 10 am.

The meeting is scheduled to last for nearly three hours and is likely to focus on border security issues, trade, issues pertaining to terrorism and culture issues.

The Chinese delegation is also likely to accompany the Xi Jinping wherein the discussion will be held between eight-a-side from each contingent.

The entire East Coast Road has been sealed by police with checks being conducted on all vehicles and they were diverted. 

The Fisherman’s Cove, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi is camping, has been barricaded with checkpoints and dotted as the entire area is bustling with activities taking place. 

However, entire ECR stretch wore a deserted look with few buses plying on the roads.

ALSO READ | Modi, Xi Jinping hold two-and-half-hour conversation over dinner; resolve to expand ties

The Chinese President is scheduled to depart for Chennai airport at 12.45 and will depart for Nepal at 1.30 pm.

It is learnt during the interaction, Chinese President urged both countries to take the 70th anniversary of China-India diplomatic ties next year as an opportunity to conduct broader and deeper cultural and people to people exchange.

The camaraderie between the leaders during their first interaction at Shore Temple came to the fore when their initial three-hour interaction went on to become a five-hour one-to-one interaction delving on issues like a threat from radicalisation, trade deficit and cultural ties.

The two leaders held a two-and-a-half-hour "pleasant conversation" over dinner on Friday, resolving to further energise bilateral development partnership and insulating the overall ties from differences over contentious issues.

Helped by two interpreters, both leaders touched upon a range of issues, including complex ones, over sumptuous local Tamil delicacies, sources said.

External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar described the engagement between Modi and Xi on the first day of the Informal summit as "highly productive".

ALSO READ | Did Jinping refuse traditional Poornakumbham honour?

"Concluding a highly productive day with a pleasant conversation over a long dinner. PM @narendramodi & Chinese President Xi continued their exchange of views on deepening of the India-China partnership over a breathtaking Kalakshetra cultural performance followed by dinner," Kumar tweeted.

There was no official confirmation whether Modi and Xi discussed the Kashmir issue which somehow strained ties between the two countries and even overshadowed Xi's trip to this coastal town.

It is widely speculated that the issue found mention in the conversation between the two leaders over dinner.

In a tweet following the dinner, Modi said he was delighted to spend time with Xi.

"Mamallapuram is one of the most beautiful places in India, full of vibrancy. It is linked to commerce, spirituality and is now a popular tourism centre. I am delighted that President Xi Jinping and I are spending time in this scenic place, which is also a @UNESCO heritage site," he said.

The sources said both Xi and Modi resolved to further energise bilateral development partnership and insulating the overall ties from differences over contentious issues.

(With PTI Inputs)

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