External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar is expected travel to China next month to prepare ground for the second informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in India in October, government sources said.
In Beijing, Jaishankar will hold wide-ranging talks with State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi covering various aspects of bilateral ties besides discussing key regional and global issues, they said.
The primary objective of the visit will be to prepare ground for the second informal summit between Modi and Xi which is likely to be held in the second week of October, the sources said.
In the informal summit, the two leaders are likely to focus on further broadening India-China ties which will include enhancing people-to-people contacts and expanding cooperation in trade and investment.
The two leaders held the first informal summit in April in Chinese city of Wuhan months after bilateral ties came under severe strain following a 73-day standoff between the armies of the two countries in Doklam in the Sikkim sector of the border.
In the Wuhan summit, Modi and Xi decided to issue “strategic guidance” to militaries of the two countries to strengthen communications to build trust and understanding, a move aimed at avoiding a Doklam-like situation in the future.
China’s new Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said in Beijing that with two strong leaders at the helm in both the countries, the ties are set to reach new heights.
Under the strategic guidance provided by Xi and Modi at their first informal summit in Wuhan last year, the China-India relations have gathered a “very good and sound momentum of development”, Sun told a group of Indian journalists.
“This year the two leaders are going to hold another informal meeting. I believe, this will be a top priority in our bilateral relations which will surely take our relations on to new heights,” he said.
Modi and Xi held a bilateral meeting last month in Kyrgyzstan’s capital Bishkek on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.
It was the first meeting between the two leaders after Modi’s re-election following the massive victory of the BJP in the general elections in May. Modi had described the meeting as “extremely fruitful”.