Chinese President Xi Jinping will reach Chennai on Friday for the second India-China informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This came two days after Xi met Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing, during which they spoke about the situation in Jammu and Kashmir.

The Chinese president is expected to arrive in Chennai around 2 pm and reach the town around 5 pm as central and state governmental agencies prepared for his welcome.

On Saturday, the two leaders will have a one-on-one meeting at the Fisherman’s Cove resort and then hold delegation-level talks. Modi and Xi are also scheduled to visit three
monuments in Mamallapuram, including the 7th century Shore Temple.

The two leaders are expected to talk about trade matters, boundary conflicts and multilateral cooperation, according to The Hindu. “The objective is to ensure that the communication between the leaders is one which is routinised, easy going and indicates that President Xi Jinping and PM Modi are getting down to business in an informal way, not simply at a structured meeting of a [limited time] where prepared statements are read out in a much more practical way,” a senior official told the media.

However, no joint statements are expected after the discussions and no memorandum of understanding has been prepared, officials said.

Chennai is getting a makeover ahead of the meeting with walls being cleaned of graffiti and electric poles being given neat covers. New fences were built outside the monuments and the stone pavements leading to it were renovated.

The Madras High Court made a verbal note on Thursday that leaders had to visit the state for it to be tidy. The court was hearing a petition that sought maximum penalty for putting up illegal banners, according to PTI.

Security measures were also beefed up in the state with the traffic police announcing major route changes within Chennai city limits and the outskirts. The routes were closed for heavy vehicles on both the days of the summit, according to The News Minute.

Several government-owned Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation or TASMAC shops along the East Coast Road-Old Mahabalipuram road, which the leaders will travel through, are also likely to be shut during the meet. Around 19 government-owned alcohol shops are expected to remain closed to avoid any disturbance during the Chinese president’s visit.

Fishing has also reportedly been banned for four days from Thursday onward from Kottivakkam in Chennai to Kadapakkam, located beyond Mamallapuram. Security has been heightened along the coast, and several patrol vehicles have been deployed.

The meet comes after China told Pakistan on Wednesday that it was keeping an eye on the situation in Kashmir following the Indian administration’s revocation of the state’s special status. India had responded saying that other nations should not comment on the country’s internal affairs.

India’s actions in Jammu and Kashmir were condemned by Pakistan, whose intervention led to the matter being taken up in the United Nations. China was one of the few countries that backed Pakistan’s stance at the United Nations General Assembly session last month.

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India puts on its best face ahead of Modi-Xi summit in Mamallapuram

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