India and China, among the world's fastest growing economies, are set to deepen their ties when Chinese President Hu Jintao comes in India on an official visit on November 20.
Hu comes 20 months after Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited India in April 2005, a historic visit that saw the finalisation of guiding principles and political parameters for resolving the border row besides progress on economic and energy cooperation between the Asian giants.
Hu, who took over as the leader of the Communist Party of China in 2002, will also go to Mumbai, India's financial hub, and the country's tech capital Bangalore, reliable sources said.
He will discuss a range of bilateral, regional and global issues with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, including the border dispute, enhancement of trade and economic cooperation, the North Korean nuclear crisis and UN reforms.
From India's point of view, Hu's visit is crucial as it gives New Delhi another opportunity to win Beijing's backing - an influential member of the 45-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group - for the India-US civil nuclear deal and international nuclear cooperation. China can play a spoiler in NSG even after the nuclear deal clears the US Congressional process.
India expects that Hu's visit will give a decisive push to a resolution of the decades-old border dispute and improve understanding between them. The special representatives of India and China have held seven round of talks on resolving the row.
Hu's visit will mark the culmination of the India-China year of friendship that saw the historic opening of the Nathu La pass in Sikkim for trade and a string of cultural events in both countries.
In his talks with Manmohan Singh, Hu is likely to take up the issue of problems faced by Chinese companies, involved in infrastructure projects, in seeking security clearance in India.
Chinese ambassador Sun Yuxi said recently: "Our trading licence applications are turned down citing security reasons. Some of the applications are purely civil projects."
While returning to India on Saturday from Finland, Manmohan Singh also dwelt on the issue, saying New Delhi was not opposed to Chinese companies per se.
Communist Party of India-Marxist leader Sitaram Yechury, whose party backs the ruling coalition, is in Beijing to lay the groundwork for Hu's visit.
Yechury is expected to allay Beijing's concerns about the status of Chinese firms involved in infrastructure sector in India.
Two Chinese firms, Kaidi Electric Power Company and China Harbour Engineering Company, which are part of a consortium led by the Mumbai-based Zoom Developers to build the Rs 43.6 billion port project in Vizhinjam in Kerala, are yet to get security clearance from the government.