Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet in Goa on Saturday to discuss bilateral ties that are under strain over Beijing opposing India’s entry to NSG and blocking efforts to get Jaish chief Masood Azhar declared a terrorist by the UN.
The two leaders, who met during the G20 summit in China in September, will hold talks on the sidelines of the two-day BRICS summit that opens on October 15 in the coastal state.
While Modi would seek Xi’s cooperation in ironing out the recent irritants in ties, the focus would be on increasing Chinese investment from $2 billion now to $20 billion by 2019, government sources said.
The two are also expected to discuss ways to ensure peace on the line of actual control by avoiding incursions from either side, a constant irritant in the ties.
Modi met his diplomatic advisers on Wednesday to discuss the framework of his engagement with Xi. There would be no meeting between the national security advisers of the two countries, sources said, an indicator of New Delhi’s desire to accord priority to bilateral trade and investment.
Chinese investment in India has grown 400% in the last two years. Shanghai-based Fosum Pharma recently acquired 86% stake in Hyderabad-based Gland Pharma for $1.86 billion, the biggest Chinese investment in India till date.
India is looking to attract Chinese investments worth $4 billion next year. China that stood at 27 in the list of investors into India has moved up 10 places in the past two years.
New Delhi is banking on personal equation between Modi and Xi to give a push to trade and investment, notwithstanding divergence of views on a range of issues.
China wants India to engage Pakistan over Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar before it gives up its opposition to him being designated a terrorist by the UN, which would lead to freezing of his accounts and a ban on travel.
Beijing early this month extended its “technical hold”, or virtual veto, on India’s submission to include Azhar in the UN list. New Delhi blames Jaish for several terror strikes, including the January attack on Pathankot airbase.
China recently said it was blocking a tributary of the Brahmaputra river to build a hydroelectric project in Tibet. India is now pushing the Upper Siang power projects in Arunachal Pradesh. Beijing also wants New Delhi to keep out of the South China Sea dispute.
China has led opposition to India joining the nuclear suppliers group, a 48-member elite club that controls global nuclear trade.