President Pranab Mukherjee to visit China in May1 min read . Updated: 22 Apr 2016, 02:05 AM IST
The President’s trip will set off a series of high-level bilateral visits as the two countries seek to deepen their engagements on several major issues
Beijing: President Pranab Mukherjee will travel to China in May, setting off a series of high-level bilateral visits as the two countries seek to deepen their engagements despite irritants in ties over issues like Beijing blocking India’s bid to get a United Nations ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed head Masood Azhar.
Mukherjee’s visit was announced by national security adviser Ajit Doval when he called on Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday.
“We have had a series of interactions in 2015. We are looking forward to the visit of President of India shortly next month," Doval, who wrapped up his two-day visit to attend the 19th round of border talks with China, said in his opening remarks during his meeting Li.
The dates for the visit, expected to take place next month, would be announced simultaneously by both the countries later, officials said.
Mukherjee was expected to visit Beijing and the Chinese industrial city of Guangzhou which has stronger trade links with India.
His visit, which was a reciprocal visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to India in 2014, will be followed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to the Chinese city of Hangzhou to attend the G20 summit in September.
Xi was expected to travel to India to take part in the Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa summit scheduled to be held in Goa on 15-16 October.
Modi also made a high-profile visit to China last year. The visits at the highest level make 2016 a unique year, officials said as they help widen the contacts between the two countries.
This itself is a progress in India-China context, one official said. Such high-level contacts were expected to help iron out irritants like China’s repeated move to block India’s bid to ban Azhar in the UN.
China has put a technical hold on the India’s move setting off strong reactions from New Delhi. The issue figured in this week’s meetings between external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj, defence minister Manohar Parrikar and Doval with their counterparts.