Preparations for the India-China informal summit are in full swing as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping are due to meet in the coastal town of Mamallapuram, near Chennai, on October 11 and 12.
The meeting comes shortly after China and Pakistan criticised India’s decision to nullify the special status of Jammu and Kashmir, and bifurcate it into two Union Territories.
On Wednesday, the Chinese President met Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing. The “rights and wrongs of the situation in Kashmir are clear”, Xi is reported to have told Khan. He added, “China supports Pakistan in safeguarding its legitimate rights and interests and hopes that the parties concerned can resolve the dispute through peaceful dialogue.”
On October 9, India reiterated its position and affirmed that Jammu and Kashmir is an “internal matter”.
“India’s position has been consistent and clear that Jammu and Kashmir is an integral part of India,” the Ministry of External Affairs stated. “China is well aware of our position. It is not for other countries to comment on the internal affairs of India.”
In Chennai, however, none of this testiness was apparent as the city was being spruced up to welcome the Chinese delegation. Walls have been cleaned of graffiti, electric poles were given neat covers and workers clambered atop ancient monuments to clean them before the meet.
New fences were built outside the monuments and the stone pavements leading to it were renovated, reported The News Minute on September 28. The report also stated that 500 police personnel were deployed in Mamallapuram.
Here are some photos of the preparations.
Social media users shared photos and videos of how Chennai’s roads and public spaces were being spruced up ahead of the summit.
Some also pointed that some of the city’s electric transformers have also been given a facelift.