Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit India, Lanka, Maldives from next week

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Beijing, Sept 9: Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit India, Sri Lanka, Tajikistan and the Maldives from next week to bolster the country's relations with South Asia and Central Asia.

Xi, also the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party of China, will attend a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit and visit four countries later this month, Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang announced today.

The President is scheduled to attend the 14th meeting of the Council of Heads of the SCO member states on Thursday and Friday in Dushanbe, the capital of Tajikistan, said Qin.

After the meeting, Xi will also pay state visits to Tajikistan, the Maldives, Sri Lanka and India at the invitation of counterparts -- Tajik President Emomali Rahmon, Maldives President Abdulla Yameen, Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa and President Pranab Mukherjee, according to Qin.

Maldives was apparently including in Xi's itinerary after the cancellation of his visit to Pakistan due to prevailing political situation there.

The dates for the visits to the subcontinent is yet to be announced. National Security Advisor Ajith Doval is currently in Beijing holding talks with the Chinese officials to finalise Xi's programme in India.

PTI

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