Congress President Sonia Gandhi arrived in Beijing on Thursday to meet and exchange views with the newly-elected Chinese Communist Party leadership on a range of bilateral issues.
The Chairperson of the United Progressive Alliance (UPA) is accompanied by her son and AICC General Secretary Rahul Gandhi on the five-day visit which is expected to boost bilateral relations that are already on the upswing.
Sonia is due to meet with Chinese President and General Secretary of the Communist Party of China (CPC), Hu Jintao tomorrow.
She will also have meetings with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Politburo member Liu Qi as well as call on former Chinese Foreign Minister Huang Hua, who had played a major role in fostering bilateral ties in the early stages of Sino-Indian relations.
In a rare honour, Sonia is expected to be the first leader of a foreign political party to meet with Hu and Wen, both re-elected to the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee of the CPC Central Committee on Monday at the first plenum of 17th National Congress of the Party.
Amid tight security, Sonia was received at the Beijing International Airport by Indian Ambassador to China, Nirupama Rao and other senior officials, including from the CPC.
Sonia is accompanied by a high-level Party delegation comprising by senior Congress leader Karan Singh and ministers of state Anand Sharma and Prithviraj Chavan.