China Leader Xi Begins India Visit

INDIAINDIAINDIAINDIAChina’s President Xi Jinping has begun his first official visit to India, with a focus on improving trade ties and resolving the decades-old dispute over border areas.

China is one of India’s top trading partners and the Asian neighbours are the world’s most populous countries.

The two countries disagree over the demarcation of several Himalayan border areas and fought a brief war in 1962.

Tensions over the issue still flare up from time to time.

Beijing and Delhi have held numerous rounds of border talks, but all have been unsuccessful so far.

Mr Xi’s visit comes amid unconfirmed reports in the Indian media of a new face-off on the border.

The reports said that Indian troops had spotted their Chinese counterparts trying to construct a temporary road into the Indian territory across the Line of Actual Control (the de facto boundary) in the Ladakh region.

Ties between the two countries have received a boost under the new Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has pledged to revitalise the economy and deepen ties with China during his term of office.

In July, the two leaders met on the sidelines of the sixth Brics summit in Brazil and stressed the need to boost bilateral relations.

Mr Xi began his three-day visit in the western state of Gujarat, where he will attend a banquet in the evening to be hosted by Mr Modi.

The reception coincides with Mr Modi’s 64th birthday.

Mr Modi was the chief minister of Gujarat for over a decade before leading his Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to a landslide win in the May general election and becoming prime minister.


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