Modi to host Xi at summit with ties strained by occupied Kashmir

The meeting on Oct 11-12 is aimed at enhancing the rapport formed by the two leaders when they met in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year. — AFP/File

India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi will host Chinese President Xi Jinping for an informal summit later this week, the Indian foreign ministry said, with the talks coming at a time when ties have been strained over occupied Kashmir.

The meeting in the southern Indian city of Chennai on Oct 11-12 is aimed at enhancing the rapport formed by the two leaders when they met in the Chinese city of Wuhan last year to help stabilize ties after a standoff in another contested section of their long border, far removed from Kashmir.

But New Delhi’s decision in August to withdraw special status for occupied Kashmir drew sharp condemnation from Pakistan and its ally China, which took the matter to the United Nations Security Council.

“The forthcoming Chennai Informal Summit will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to continue their discussions on overarching issues of bilateral, regional and global importance and to exchange views on deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership,” the Indian foreign ministry said in a statement on Wednesday.

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