Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to visit India from May 19-21

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in Beijing on May 10, 2013.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang with External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid in Beijing on May 10, 2013.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will pay a state visit India from May 19-21 during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on ways of achieving growth in the bilateral relationship and increase investment, trade and people-to-people contacts between the two countries.

Mr Li and Dr Singh will have a restricted meeting before going in for delegation-level talks, the official spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, Mr Syed Akbaruddin, told newspersons here yesterday.
He said Mr Li would be given a ceremonial reception at Rashtrapati Bhavan and visit Rajghat to pay homage to Mahatma Gandhi.
Dr Singh will host a banquet for Mr Li at Hyderabad House in the capital on May 20.
External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha Sushma Swaraj will call on him.
The Chinese Premier is scheduled to call on Vice-President M Hamid Ansari and meet ruling United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
On May 21, Mr Li will address an event hosted by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and the Indian Council of World Affairs (ICWA).
Mr Li is also slated to visit Mumbai where he will address a meeting organised by FICCI, ASSOCHAM and CII. He is also scheduled to visit Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and meet relatives of Dr Kotnis in Mumbai. Maharashtra Chief Minister Prithviraj Chavan will call on him.
Last week, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid had visited Beijing for talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi and to prepare for Mr Li's visit to India.
His visit took place just days after the two sides ended a stand-off in Eastern Ladakh caused by an incursion by Chinese troops.
The official spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs had said on May 6 that the Governments of the two countries had agreed to restore status quo ante along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Western Sector of the India-China boundary as it existed prior to 15 April,2013.
"Flag meetings have been held to work out the modalities and to confirm the arrangements," he had said.
Mr Khurshid, who had also met Mr Li during his visit, told newspersons here on May 11 on his return that the Chinese side felt, and India agreed, that the joint statement that will be issued after the meeting of the two Prime Ministers "should be a strong message to our respective people, to the rest of Asia and to the world."
He said that, among other things, the two sides were working on ways of simplifying the visa process for businesspersons.
He said agreements in the pipeline and not ready before Mr Li's visit would be signed during Dr Singh's visit to Beijing later this year.
"I think since 1954 possibly, this is the first time when there will be two-way Prime Ministers’ visits between India and China taking place. Therefore, I think this Year of the Snake will be a significant year as we see it," he said.
The two sides are expected to agree on sister cities and sister provinces. There are also discussions on a Chinese industrial park in India.
The two sides are also working on ways of balancing their existing trade, which is currently in China's favour by a huge amrgin.
Mr Khurshid had also said that the Chinese side had given to India a border defence cooperation agreement some weeks ago which the two sides will now work on.

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When the relations become better

When the relations become better and broad based and trade multiplies, the present issues will start looking insignificant and silly as they actually are. It is a historic opportunity for both countries to eliminate the past baggage of Nehru era, and move boldly forward on a positive path of cooperation and friendship. Prime Minister Li Kequiang India visit will improve the ties between India and China

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