Sunday , October 24 2021

Modi-Xi to go for sightseeing, cultural prog at Mahabalipuram

New Delhi, Oct 9 (IANS) The second informal summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Tamil Nadu’s Mahabalipuram will see the two leaders visit some of the UNESCO World Heritage sites there and also attend a cultural programme presented by Kalakshetra.

The Chinese President will arrive post noon on October 11 at Chennai, which is 50 km away from Mahabalipuram, for his engagement with Prime Minister Modi.

The two leaders will meet in the evening at Mahabalipuram, with Prime Minister Modi taking President Xi Jinping around some of the major historical sites of the ancient port town built by the Pallava rulers.

Modi will host the Chinese President for dinner, and the two will attend a cultural programme by Kalakshetra at the venue, said sources.

The two leaders will then hold the second round of discussions between their delegations on October 12, after which Xi will depart at 2 p.m., the sources added.

The second day of talks will be held at the Fisherman’s Cove, run by the Taj group.

Since the talks are informal, there will be no formal ceremony, or any signing of documents.

Besides Prime Minister Modi, the talks will be attended by External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval from the Indian side, while Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi would be there from the Chinese side.

The World Heritage Site of Mahabalipuram was zeroed in for the second informal summit as both Xi and Modi as they share a keen interest in history and culture, and Mahabalipuram also has a historical connection with China, sources said here.

With Prime Minister Modi keen that places other than New Delhi should be showcased to visiting dignitaries, the two sides were looking at a venue outside the national capital where the summit could be held, and where the nearby airport could accommodate a large aircraft.

Mahabalipuram not only showcases tourism potential and is near Chennai, it also shares a historical connect with China as Buddhist monk Hiuen Tsang had visited the place in the seventh century. The ancient port town of Mahabalipuram also was visited by Chinese sailors from the Chinese port town of Quanzhou.

Physical evidence of the links between the two countries have been found in the form of pottery and other relics found at Mahabalipuram.



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