Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to visit India in May
New Delhi: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will visit India in May in his first official tour abroad after assuming office two months ago.
While newly-elected President Xi Jinping made Russia his first stop last month to show the importance Beijing attached to its relations with Moscow, for his part Li would like to begin his foreign tour by visiting India first in the third week of next month.
From Russia, Xi went to Durban to take part in the BRICS, (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit, where he had his first meeting with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Proposal for Li`s visit came as a surprise to Indian officials as it is very much unlike the protocol conscious Chinese political set up and it was the turn of Singh to visit Beijing this year to reciprocate the visit of former Chinese Premier, Wen Jiabao`s tour to India in December, 2011.
Significantly, a proposal for Singh`s visit to China in later part of June was being considered. But with Li`s visit, Singh`s trip will be pushed to later in the year.
Li`s forthcoming visit here is seen as a positive step in the relations of two countries, which in the recent years look to improve their relations while trying to resolve the vexed boundary dispute.
In the new Chinese Communist party leadership standing, 57-year-old Li holds the rank of number two unlike Wen, who despite being Premier was ranked number three, next to former President Hu Jintao and ex- Chairman of the National People?s Congress, (NPC), Wu Bangguo.
Li has already spoken to Singh after taking over office keeping up with the diplomatic protocol of keeping the dialogue between the Prime Ministers.
Indian Ambassador to China S Jaishankar is already in Delhi and officials from both countries are working to lay the groundwork for the visit of Li.
A visit by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid to China may also take place ahead of Li`s visit. However, the sources said no dates have been finalised so far.
Meanwhile, India and China last week also concluded two-
day consultations on counter-terrorism. They will also be holding first-ever consultations on Afghanistan later this week in Beijing for which Additional Secretary for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran Yash Sinha will be travelling to the Chinese capital.
The two countries are also currently working on the dates for the visit of Defence Minister A K Antony to China besides the resumption of joint military exercises between the two countries.
The exercises were stalled in 2009 due to differences over China`s decision not to grant visa to a top Indian General on the ground that he headed troops in Jammu and Kashmir division, which Beijing considered disputed territory.
The differences were subsequently resolved after China rolled back its policy and started granting regular visas to residents of Jammu and Kashmir, instead of stapled visas.
Also there was a proposal of National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon to visit Beijing for talks with Yang, the former Foreign Minister, who succeeded Dai Bingguo as State Councillor, which in Chinese system was a higher post than Foreign Minister.
Yang is expected to be designated as China`s Special Representative on boundary talks.
During the dialogue on Afghanistan, the two sides will discuss the emerging situation in the war-torn country where the two countries are seeking a common ground for the first time to deal with US plans to pull out its troops from Afghanistan next year.
The issue has already discussed by Menon during NSA`s meeting of China, India, Russia in Moscow recently followed by counter terrorism dialogue on April 11-12 headed by Additional Secretary of the MEA Navtej Sarna.
This is first time again, China is trying to look for convergence with India on Afghanistan besides holding contacts with its all weather ally Pakistan.
Download the all new Zee News app for Android and iOS to stay up to date with latest headlines and news stories in Politics, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, Business and much more from India and around the world.
More from India
More from World
More from Sports
More from Entertaiment
- DNA: Exiled Kashmiri Pandits share their heart wrenching stories
- Basic ideals of Constitution are in danger: Sonia Gandhi
- PM Modi greets nation on occasion of first Constitution Day
- Manjula Vaghela's journey: From rag picker to head of a firm with Rs 1 cr turnover!
- Indian Army faces shortage of field firing ranges in J&K
- Woman commits suicide after heated discussion with husband over Aamir Khan's intolerance remark
- Setback to Kejriwal-led AAP as MLA Akhilesh Tripathi arrested in riot case
- 10 interesting facts about Constitution which every Indian must know
- See pic: Genelia marks son's birthday!
- Bigg Boss, Day 46: Priya Malik urinates inside the car!