In continuation of the success of the First India-China informal meet held in Wuhan, on April 27 and 28 last year, the second informal meet has been scheduled at the heritage city.
The meeting is scheduled to happen at a private beach resort in Mahabalipuram on Saturday morning and Xi is expected to be in Chennai by Friday afternoon where he will stay at a private hotel in Guindy.
On Friday, the Chinese leader will visit Mahabalipuram in the evening to view the architectural marvels of the shore temple, Arjuna’s Penance, Five Rathas among others.
Following the visit, Modi will host a dinner for Xi in which VVIPs from the State and Central government will participate.
On Saturday, Modi and Xi will meet for three hours and discuss various ongoing issues between the two countries but the Kashmir issue will not feature in the talks as was confirmed by the Centre earlier.
“The forthcoming Chennai informal summit will provide an opportunity for the two leaders to continue their discussions on overarching issues of bilateral, regional and global importance and to exchange views on deepening India-China Closer Development Partnership,” the External Affairs Ministry said in a statement on Thursday.
In the space of two days, Modi will have the opportunity to hold personal talks with Xi for more than five hours. After the second day’s talks, Modi will host a lunch for Xi after which the latter will leave Chennai later in the afternoon.
An elaborate reception for Xi and the Chinese delegation has been planned by the Central and State governments where various folk artistes have been roped in to welcome the leaders. Close to 65,000 school and college students will also welcome the two leaders with placards and flags of both the countries.
The visit of both the leaders has found support even from Opposition parties such as DMK, MDMK and VCK, who have wholeheartedly welcomed the meet. In preparation for the high-profile meet, every State Department has deputed its officials to ensure that work related to their respective departments is completed before the visit of the high-profile leaders.
Xi’s Friday itinerary
- 2.10 pm: Xi will reach Chennai Airport on Friday and proceed towards the private hotel in Guindy
- 4 pm: He will start for Mahabalipuram
- 5 pm: Xi is slated to visit Arjuna’s penance, Panch Rathas and Shore temple
- 6 pm: He will also witness the cultural performances
- 6:45 pm: Xi will attend the dinner hosted by Prime Minister Narendra Modi
Security drill chokes traffic along OMR, several parts of city
Security drills conducted by the city police on OMR, Airport Road and parts of ECR without any prior announcement on Thursday caused heavy traffic jams in several parts of the city, leading to grave inconvenience for the public.
Commuters said there were not aware of the drill to be conducted on ECR and OMR as officials had announced that traffic changes would come into effect only from Friday.
Pavithra, an IT employee working in OMR, said, “It took me more than two hours to reach Tambaram. If they had earlier announced the mock drill, we might have chosen to work from home or would have left early from office. We understand security concerns, but officials should also think about the public.” As a ripple effect of the drill, traffic was choked on GST Road and other interior parts where public were caught unawares and had to remain on the roads for hours. On Friday, several IT firms have asked their employees to work from home for two days.
In some companies, employees have been asked to come early to work and leave before 2 pm on Friday. Schools, colleges and movie theatres would also remain closed for two days in the southern suburbs along OMR. When contacted, K Ejilearassane, Joint Commissioner (Traffic, South) Greater Chennai police, said, “Traffic was not much affected but this is an important event for the country so the public should cooperate.”