Foreign Secretary Holds Talks with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister ahead of Xi's India visit
In August, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited China and discussed Xi's upcoming visit to India.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi shakes hands with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) Summit in Bishkek. (PTI Photo)
New Delhi: Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale on Thursday held talks with Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui, focussing on President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to India, official sources said.
The agenda of the meeting was to finalise the ground work for Xi's visit next week to hold the second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, they said. Luo was Chinese envoy to India before he was appointed vice foreign minister in May.
Neither India nor China has announced dates for the high-profile visit which is taking place in the midst of severe strain in bilateral ties between India and Pakistan over the Kashmir issue.
In August, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar visited China and discussed Xi's upcoming visit to India. In the second informal summit, Modi and Xi are likely to focus on further broadening India-China ties.
The two leaders held their first informal summit in April last year in the 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.
There have some disquiet in New Delhi following China's support to Pakistan following India's decision to withdraw Jammu and Kashmir's special status and bifurcate the state into two Union Territories.
Last week, India took strong exception to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi's reference to Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh in his address at the UN General Assembly.
Raising the Kashmir issue, Wang told the UN General Assembly that the "dispute" should be peacefully and properly addressed in accordance with the UN Charter, UN Security Council resolutions and the bilateral agreement.
The Chinese foreign minister also stressed that no action should be taken that would unilaterally change the "status quo" of Kashmir.
India's decision on Kashmir evoked strong reactions from Pakistan, which downgraded diplomatic ties and expelled the Indian ambassador. Pakistan has also been unsuccessfully trying to rally international support against India on the Kashmir issue.
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