Kashmir pitch may not define talks in Modi-Xi summit in Mamallapuram

While Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi begin their informal summit in Mahabalipuram today, Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong says the two nations pose no threat to each other.

Published: 11th October 2019 09:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 11th October 2019 03:34 PM   |  A+A-

The lit-up sculpture depicting Arjuna’s Penance at Mahabs on the eve of the Modi-Xi summit

The lit-up sculpture depicting Arjuna’s Penance at Mahabs on the eve of the Modi-Xi summit | Shiba Prasad Sahu

Express News Service

NEW DELHI: India and China may not see eye-to-eye on Kashmir but the issue is unlikely to overshadow Chinese President Xi Jinping’s visit to Mamallapuram for the second informal summit meeting, with Chinese Ambassador Sun Weidong even emphasizing that the “two countries pose no threat” to each other.

ALSO WATCH | Modi-Xi summit: Mahabalipuram gets a makeover but not everyone is thrilled

In an interview to a news agency on the eve of Xi’s visit, Sun said: “We believe that the summit will take bilateral relations to a higher level.” The Indian side did not issue any statement except announcing the schedule of the two-day meeting, which will begin with a guided tour of three monuments, a cultural programme followed by a dinner where Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host for Xi. The substantive part will be on the second day, when the two leaders will have a one-on-one meeting followed by delegation level talks.

ALSO READ| Trade deficit, market access issues to be discussed in Modi-Xi summit in Mamallapuram

Most retired diplomats and experts said there was no need for India to read too much into the Chinese statements on Kashmir after Xi’s meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing on Wednesday. “It is disappointing that people give emphasis to issues on which India and China do not see eye-to-eye. Kashmir is one such issue, but the leaders are mature enough to put it behind them and have cooperative discussions,” said Kishan Rana, a former Ambassador and visiting fellow at the Institute of Chinese Studies here.

A research scholar at Jawaharlal Nehru University said China has been an all-weather ally of Pakistan but it also realises that India is an important regional partner. “Both realise that there is no need for publicity when it comes to bilateral issues and they will not let one issue hamper their potential to work together,” he said.

ALSO READ | Five meetings in two days: Here's the agenda for Modi-Xi summit at Mahabalipuram

Another China watcher, however, disagreed. “The statement favouring India was given by the foreign ministry while the one against was issued by the Chinese President himself. This is indication enough of how important Kashmir is for them,” said a Sino-India relations research scholar at the Indian Council for World Affairs.

Leaving nothing to chance

Every street has been occupied by the police and movement of locals is being closely monitored. Locals have been asked to carry Aadhaar or any other identity proof while stepping out of home

Lower courts adjourned

Lower courts in Chennai have adjourned cases till Saturday since the bulk of the city’s police force is on security duty at Mahabalipuram.

All ready for the big show

Mamallapuram is all decked up for its tryst with history. Roads have been renovated, new signages erected and all public property painted.  A Buddha statue has been placed near the shore temple. Work on wooden walkways too is over.

Stay up to date on all the latest Nation news with The New Indian Express App. Download now
(Get the news that matters from New Indian Express on WhatsApp. Click this link and hit 'Click to Subscribe'. Follow the instructions after that.)

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp