The Bold Voice of J&K

Xi to speak on South Asia policy, Sino-India ties during visit

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From K J M Varma

Beijing, Sep 12 (PTI) President Xi Jinping will outline China’s South Asia policy besides dwelling on bilateral ties in a major speech during his visit to India next week.

Xi will deliver the speech on China-India relations and other issues, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here today on the eve of Xi’s first visit to the Indian subcontinent from Sunday.

A report in state-run Xinhua news agency said that Xi’s speech would expound on bilateral relations and China’s South Asia policy.

Xi would begin his visit with the Maldives, the first trip by a Chinese President to the island nation, and then go to Sri Lanka and arrive in India on September 17.

His speech to be made in an academic institution in New Delhi is regarded as significant as it may aim to dispel China’s growing engagement in India’s immediate neighbourhood which raised concerns in New Delhi.

Besides its all weather relations with Pakistan for decades, China extended its footprints in Sri Lanka, the Maldives, besides Bangladesh and Nepal where it firmed up ties with heavy investments and aid, blunting India’s influence in the region.

“We are looking forward to his visit to India,” Hua said stating that Xi will meet President Pranab Mukherjee and hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and other senior officials on bilateral ties and issues of mutual interest.

He would also interact with cross section of Indians, she said.

Thanks to concerted efforts from both sides, China-India relations enjoy sound momentum, Hua said.

“Jointly we have maintained stability at the border. As two large developing countries and emerging markets, continued development of our bilateral relations serves the interest of the region and the international community,” she said.

“We hope that through President Xi’s visit we can deepen our mutual trust and practical cooperation in various fields and elevate our bilateral ties to a new high,” she said.

In Sri Lanka, Xi in his talks with Sri Lankan leaders, is expected to outline the future development of bilateral ties and sign a series of cooperative agreements, she said.

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