Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet on Sunday on the first day of the G20 summit in Hangzhou and are likely to discuss bilateral differences over issues including the proposed USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor which runs through Pakistan occupied Kashmir. The Modi-Xi meeting assumes significance as India-China relations have followed a southward trajectory over contentious issues like the listing of Pakistan-based terrorist groups in the UN, China stalling India’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the ambitious China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) that criss-crosses Pakistan-occupied Kashmir.
During Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi’s visit to Delhi this month, India and China formed a mechanism led by Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar and the Chinese Vice Foreign Minister to address their differences. The meeting between Modi and Xi – their second in less than three months – is expected to take place in the morning of September 4, officials here said.
Modi and Xi had last met on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit on June 23 in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan. The two leaders are to meet again in little over a month for more elaborate discussions during the BRICS summit to be hosted by India in Goa on October 15-16.
Chinese officials say the two meetings between Modi and Xi could set a new direction to the bilateral relations. Modi will reach China on Saturday evening from Vietnam to take part in the two-day G20 summit. The Indian contingent will be putting up at Sheraton resort – about 30 kilometres outside the city – where Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe too would stay.
Modi is likely to hold bilaterals with several G20 leaders during his 48-hour stay here. Xi too is scheduled to have a number of one-to-one meetings including with US President Barack Obama. Top disarmament officials from India and China were also expected to meet to discuss issues of China “blocking” the UN move to ban Masood Azhar, chief of the Pakistan-based terror group Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), and Beijing’s opposition to New Delhi’s bid to joining the 48-member NSG.