Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in New Delhi on Thursday evening, ANI reported. This is the first visit to India by any Chinese leader since border clashes along the Line of Actual Control strained ties between the two nations in 2020.

Twenty Indian soldiers were killed in the clash in Galwan Valley in eastern Ladakh in June 2020. China had put the number of casualties on its side at four.

The Chinese foreign minister is likely to meet External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval on Friday, according to ANI.

Wang’s visit also assumes significance as it comes in the backdrop of a controversy over his recent remarks on Jammu and Kashmir during a meeting of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation in Pakistan on Wednesday.

At an event in Islamabad, Wang had said that China would continue to support the people of Kashmir and Palestine in their “just freedom struggles”.

“On Kashmir, we have heard again today the calls of many of our Islamic friends,” Wang had said. “And China shares the same hope.”

India had said that the Chinese foreign minister’s comments were “uncalled for”.

“Matters related to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir are entirely the internal affairs of India,” a statement issued by the Indian foreign ministry spokesperson Arindam Bagchi had said. “Other countries, including China, have no locus standi to comment. They should note that India refrains from public judgement of their internal issues.”