Mahabalipuram: Modi, Xi to have total engagement of 6 hours during 2-day summit

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will engage for a total period of six hours during the Second Informal Summit in Mahabalipuram from October 11 to 12, as per sources.Both the leaders reached Chennai on Friday. Xi was accorded a grand welcome, wherein lines of children wearing masks of the two leaders were waving flags of India and China on the streets from where the official motorcade passed.While the two leaders on Friday are scheduled to undertake guided tours of UNESCO sites in the historic coastal city, the talks between Modi and Xi are scheduled for Saturday.The one-on-one meeting is scheduled to be held for almost 40 minutes. It is supposed to start at 10 am, the sources said, adding that the two sides are slated to issue their press statements. The delegation-level talks will take place following the one-on-one engagement.”The process started in June when the first team came here for recce,” the source also stated.Local Tamil delicacies will be served to the visiting Chinese dignitary in the dinner hosted by Modi in Xi’s honour on Friday.The Second Informal Summit takes forward the ‘Wuhan spirit’ which was forged during the inaugural meet between the two leaders in the Chinese city in 2018. The Wuhan Informal Summit, held from April 27 to 28 last year, saw the two leaders indulge in candid conversations in a relaxed environment.Last year’s meet played a crucial role in easing bilateral ties after the 72-day long Doklam standoff which occurred between Indian and Chinese troops in 2017. The incident was triggered by the Chinese side trying to undertake construction work in the trijunction area India, China, and Bhutan border. After several rounds of negotiations, India and China decided to mutually disengage.The Mahabalipuram Informal Summit will provide an opportunity to the Chinese President and PM Modi to continue their discussions on overarching issues of bilateral, regional and global importance and to exchange views on deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership, the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement. This summit will mostly be similar to the one in Wuhan.

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