Chinese President Xi Jinping and PM Modi to meet in Varanasi on October 12

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi are set to hold their second informal summit in Varanasi on October 12, as part of a fresh drive to energise ties following their meeting last month in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan, on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.

A Chinese official said the decision to hold the second informal summit, following the Wuhan meeting last year, is in line with Beijing’s decision to celebrate the 70th anniversary of China’s diplomatic relations with India. Besides, it is based on the “consensus” between Mr. Xi and Mr. Modi to raise bilateral ties to a higher level, especially after the Doklam military stand-off in the summer of 2017.

The details of the second informal summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Narendra Modi in Varanasi, the Prime Minister’s Lok Sabha constituency, are yet to be finalised.

A boat ride by the two leaders on the Ganga is expected, echoing their half-an-hour sail on the East Lake in Wuhan last April when they met at their first informal summit.

“At the bilateral meeting in Bishkek on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit, President Xi stressed that the two countries must celebrate the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic ties befittingly after congratulating Mr. Modi once again on his victory in India’s general election,” a Chinese official said. “India and China are ancient civilisational states, which will be the pillars of the multi-polar world. This shapes the context of the meeting between the two leaders,” the official said.

External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar is expected to visit Beijing next mont

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