Prime Minister Narendra Modi will embark on a two-nation tour to Vietnam and China on Friday.
During the first leg of his four-day visit, the Prime Minister will first reach Vietnamese capital Hanoi on Friday night, where he will meet President Tran Dai Quang and Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc and hold wide-ranging talks with the top leadership to deepen ties in key areas of defence, security and trade, and oil exploration.
Briefing the media on Thursday, secretary (East), external affairs ministry, Preeti Saran said, “Vietnam is India’s important strategic partner and the visit is aimed at further strengthening bilateral ties, including defence, security and trade.”
On September 3, the Prime Minister will leave for Hangzhou, China, from Vietnam in the evening to attend the G-20 summit on September 4 and 5.
“During the visit, India will take up issues like cross-border mobility of professionals, terror financing, tax evasion and reduction in remittance transaction cost among others,” secretary (West), Sujata Mehta said.
Mehta said Modi will be the lead speaker at the session on inclusive and inter-connected development.
On the sidelines of the summit, the Prime Minister will have a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping. It would be the first meeting between Modi and President Jinping after their meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit held in Uzbekistan capital Tashkent, where the Prime Minister had urged China to make a “fair and objective” assessment of India’s application on merit for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG).
On August 12, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi visited New Delhi, possibly to firm up the agenda for the talks between President Jinping and Prime Minister Modi.
According to a report in China’s state-owned Global Times, foreign minister Yi may also use his visit to New Delhi to acquire a perspective and an assessment of Prime Minister Modi’s visits to Vietnam and Laos.
According to reports, Beijing is viewing Modi’s visit to Vietnam closely, given that Hanoi is also a party in the SCS dispute and has also staked a maritime and rich energy resource claim to use its waters.
The Prime Minister will also attend a BRICS leaders’ meet. He will return to India on September 5.
On September 7, Prime Minister Modi will leave for Laos PDR on a two-day visit to attend the annual India-Asean and East Asia summits.
At the ASEAN-India Summit, the Prime Minister and ASEAN leaders will review ASEAN-India cooperation and discuss its future direction in the areas of politico-security, economic and socio-cultural cooperation. The leaders will also exchange views on regional and international issues of mutual interest and concern.