New Delhi: Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrived in New Delhi on Sunday on a three-day state visit, his first overseas trip after assuming office in March, during which he will hold talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on a string of issues including the recent border row.
The three-day visit comes just a month after a bitter face-off between troops of the two countries in Ladakh. Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed received Li at the airport. Meanwhile, meeting between Manmohan Singh and Li is scheduled for 7.30 PM on Sunday.
Sources said the Prime Minister will do straight talking on the difficult issues and raise the border incursion issue during the meet. Sources also said that Manmohan Singh is likely to convey Li that border incursion has led to trust deficit and will ask him to take corrective measures to restore trust. Market and water issues are also on the agenda of the talks.
Just ahead of his first visit to India, Li Keqiang sent out a warm message to an Indian youth delegation, saying: "I hope today's youth will plant the seed of friendship and let it become a tall tree, the solid bridge between China and India."
Apart from the stand-off in eastern Ladakh, several other issues have dogged relations between India and China:
- Renewed concerns about China's plans to dam the Brahmaputra
- India's widening trade deficit and China's discrimination against Indian companies
- China's military presence in Pakistan Occupied Kashmir
- A China-Pakistan nuclear deal and its uncertain implications
- Lack of movement on resolving the border issue.
Meanwhile, Tibetan exiles and activists in Delhi are protesting against Li Keqiang visit. The Tibetan protestors are demanding the release of the 11th Panchem Lama, who they claim has been secretly detained in China for the past 18 years.