Even as India has put on hold its defence exchanges with China, HRD Minister Kapil Sibal will be visiting that country next month to attend the World Economic Forum meet during which he is also expected to discuss bilateral student exchange programmes.
Sibal will undertake a seven-day visit to Tianjin from September 10 for the WEF meet, where he is representing India, sources in the ministry said.
The theme of the annual WEF meeting in Tianjin from September 13 to 15 is sustainable growth.
Ministers and business leaders from several countries will be attending the meet to discuss ways to push the sustainable growth through increased energy efficiency, lower carbon emissions and development of green technology and infrastructure.
During his visit to China, Sibal is also expected to meet some Chinese leaders and discuss student exchange programmes and cultural exchanges, the sources said.
This assumes significance as India has put on hold all defence exchanges with China after the latter disallowed Northern Army Commander Lt Gen BS Jaswal from visiting that country as he comes from the "sensitive" Jammu and Kashmir.
Gen Jaswal was to visit China as part of defence exchanges programme.
China conveyed its decision in July and India retaliated by refusing permission to three Chinese army officials -- a Senior Colonel and two Captains.
India has said the Chinese action amounted to questioning the status of Jammu and Kashmir, which is an integral part of India, and is "unacceptable".
Sending out a message to China, sources here have said that issues related to Jammu and Kashmir are as sensitive to India as those related to Tibet to China.