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After first ‘Chai pe Charcha’ in Wuhan, India rolls out red carpet for Xi in Mahabalipuram


New Delhi, Oct 11: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are all set to meet today to take part in an informal summit' in the coastal town of Mamallapuram in Tamil Nadu. The two leaders will engage in informal talks to cement ties strained by tough talk on the Kashmir issue by both the countries.

After first ‘Chai pe Charcha’ in Wuhan, India rolls out red carpet for Xi in Mahabalipuram

This would be the second informal meeting between PM Modi and the Chinese premier after their first one in Wuhan, China, in 2018.

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'Chai pe charcha' in Wuhan last year

Modi and Xi held their first of its kind informal summit in Wuhan, 2018 necessitated after a 73-day-long standoff between both the countries' arimes in Doklam tri-junction in Sikkim. The informal summit eventually set the ball rolling for closer ties which grew from strength to strength in a year. Playing close attention to details, President Xi left no stone unturned to make Modi feel right at home in Wuhan.

From a peacock-motif menu card which carried colours of the Indian flag, to having their own version of 'chai pe charcha' on a boat at the East Lake, the camaraderie shared by the two leaders was on full display in Wuhan. Since then, there were signs of some gradual, yet positive momentum on a broad set of areas such as trade, counter-terrorism, people-to-people engagement and working together at multilateral forums.

The talks between the two leaders in Wuhan lead up to the second edition of the meet, which is scheduled to take place in Mahabalipuram.

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Meanwhile, both the state and the central government agencies have made all-out efforts to deck up the coastal town of Mamallapuram as it has strong historical linkages with China's Fujian province.

Xi Jinping's arrival

Xi will arrive at the Chennai airport around 2 PM and then head off to a luxury hotel. At 5 PM, Modi will take Xi to three iconic monuments of Mamallapuram -- Arjuna's Penance, Panch Rathas and the Shore temple. Then the two leaders will witness a cultural programme at the temple complex.

They will sit together in the lawns of the Shore temple and exchange views on charting a new roadmap of development and cooperation. Then, the prime minister will host a private dinner for Xi at the temple complex. A grand ornamental arch to welcome the two leaders has been prominently put up at the entrance to Mamallapuram from the East Coast Road.

Sightseeing, cultural programme at Mahabalipuram:

Day 1: Modi will take him to the famous world heritage site of Shore temple complex in Mamallapuram and both of them will have a meeting at the site. The prime minister will take Xi to major sites in the temple town before both leaders witness a cultural programme. Modi will also host a dinner for the Chinese leader.

Day 2: On Saturday, both leaders will have an one-on-one meeting followed by delegation-level talks. The Chinese president is expected to leave for Nepal from Chennai around 2 pm on Saturday. The second day of talks will be held at the Fisherman's Cove, run by the Taj group.

Xi will be accompanied by Foreign Minister Wang Yi and a polit bureau member of the Chinese Communist Party. Since the talks are informal, there will be no formal ceremony, or any signing of documents.

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