Chinese Premier to visit India from Sunday

Last Updated: Sun, May 19, 2013 06:46 hrs

New Delhi, May 19 (IBNS) Days after the Ladakh border standoff and visit of India's external affairs minister Salman Khurshid to China, the Chinese Premier, Li Keqiang, is arriving on a three-day visit to India from Sunday and is scheduled to hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the evening.

A border defence cooperation agreement with India proposed by China mooting freezing of troops level at the border will be discussed during the visit of Li Keqiang.

India´s Joint Secretary (East Asia) Gautam Bambawale said it is a subject which is being discussed between the two governments and it will continue to be discussed including during this visit.

"We are actually negotiating it with the Chinese and they are negotiating it with us," he said.

India´s external affairs ministry said Li Keqiang is arriving at 3:20 p.m. following which in the evening there is a restricted meeting with the Prime Minister.

Subsequently the Prime Minister is hosting a dinner for the Chinese Premier. On the next day, is the formal reception and welcome at the Rashtrapati Bhavan at 9 am. It is followed by the usual homage that visiting dignitaries pay to Mahatma Gandhi at 9:30 at Rajghat.

Premier Li Keqiang has decided to make India the first stop of the first foreign tour that he is embarking upon.

"We think very highly of this gesture because it is our view that high-level political exchanges between our two countries are an important aspect and vehicle for our expanded cooperation. The object of such visits and meetings is to enhance trust and understanding between our two governments and our peoples as well as to exhibit sensitivity to each other's concerns," said MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin.

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will call on the Chinese premier at 10:15 a.m. on Monday. After that at 11:30 there will be delegation-level talks at the Hyderabad House, following which some agreements will be signed.

After an event of media statements by the two leaders, the Prime Minister will host a banquet lunch for the visiting dignitary and his delegation and other important persons. In the afternoon, the Leader of Opposition (Sushma Swaraj) will call on the Chinese premier while the latter will also meet Chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) Sonia Gandhi and the Vice-President of India.

On the 21st, Li Keqiang will address university students at a function organised by the ICWA along with other collaborators. He will then will call on President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan, and then depart for Mumbai.

In Mumbai he would be visiting the Tata Consultancy Services and will meet the relatives of Dr. Kotnis.

Li Keqiang will meet Maharashtra Chief Minister besides Chief Executives of leading Indian business houses at a function, and dinner which is being arranged by the ASSOCHAM, CII, FICCI, the three apex chambers of commerce.

He is leaving India on May 22.

More from Sify: