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Swaraj leaves for home after concluding maiden China visit

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj today left for home after concluding a four-day visit to China during which she met President Xi Jinping and held talks with her counterpart to make preparations for the Prime Minister’s visit to the country expected to take place in May.

Swaraj along with Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar left this morning winding up her maiden visit to China.

During her stay here, Swaraj met President Xi who expressed full confidence in Sino-India relations, hoping that “new progress” would be made in the ties in the new year.

“I have full confidence in India-China relations and I believe that new progress will be achieved in growing this bilateral relationship in this new year,” Xi told Swaraj.

The 61-year-old Chinese President, who is also the General Secretary of the ruling Communist Party, conveyed his best wishes to the Indian leadership.

Swaraj also held talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on key issues and emphasised that maintenance of peace and tranquillity at the border was a pre-requisite for the development of ties.

Besides holding talks with top Chinese leadership, Swaraj also attended the Russia, India, China (RIC) Foreign Ministers meeting during which the three countries reached a broader understanding to fight terrorism.

Russia and China also extended their backing for India’s inclusion in the 21-member Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) as well as Shanghai Cooperation Organisation besides supporting its aspiration to play a greater role in the UN.

She also launched the ‘Visit of India Year’ aimed at attracting more Chinese tourists to the country in addition to about 1.74 lakhs last year. About 100 million Chinese tourists visited abroad, according to official figures and India wants to attract a large number of them.

Prime Minister Modi delivered a special video message to people of China at the function, saying the two countries are bound by “unshakable bond” and invited them to visit in India in big numbers.

Swaraj also met Chinese investors and interacted with members of Indian community here.

She said the focus of her visit was to make arrangements for Prime Minister Modi’s visit which would take place before the completion of first year of BJP government in office.

Officials say that President Xi was expected to take Modi to his native province of Shaanxi and its historic city Xian – which has ancient Buddhist links with India – to repay the hospitality he received in the Indian premier’s home state.

As a follow up to Swaraj’s visit, the Special Representatives of India and China will hold the 18th round of talks to resolve the boundary dispute. National Security Advisor Ajit Doval would head the Indian delegation at the talks to be held in New Delhi.


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