Officials inNew Delhi said that with the arrival of the Chinese President Xi Jinping for aninformal meeting with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they are looking toward asubstantive engagement that can help clear the air with the extensivearrangements made in the seaside resort in Chennai.
PresidentJinping is set to fly to Chennai airport shortly after 2 pm on Friday, two daysafter he remarked during a meeting with Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan thatChina is closely following the situation in Jammu and Kashmir and will supportPakistan in protecting its rights.
The externalaffairs ministry's response was swift and direct which said that China wasaware of India's position that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of thecountry and that it didn't welcome comments from other countries on itsinternal affairs.
However, theIndian side believes these unscripted meetings without any agenda will give thetwo leaders an opportunity to clear the air on a host of issues, exactly asthey had done during their first informal summit in the Chinese city of Wuhanlast year which came in the wake of the 73-day military stand-off atDoklam.
On Friday,soon after arriving in Mamallapuram, a collection of rathas (temples shapedlike chariots) and mandapas (cave sanctuaries) about 50km from Chennai, thatwas listed as a World Heritage Site in 1994, the two leaders will have a guidedtour of Arjuna's Penance, Panch Rathas and the Shore Temple, and watch acultural performance by a troupe from Kalakshetra Foundation, a culturalacademy founded in 1936.
This will befollowed by a dinner hosted by Modi, which will again give the two leaders somemore time together.
The followingday, Modi and Xi will have a meeting at Machaan at Fisherman's Cove,overlooking the Bay of Bengal, before they hold delegation-level talks at theTango Hall in the same resort. A lunch hosted by Modi will be anotheropportunity for one-on-one discussions before Xi departs for the Chennaiairport a little after noon.