New Delhi, Oct 9 : Ending all speculation, finally the stage is set for the second Informal Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Chennai and Mahabalipuram on October 11 and 12.
A formal announcement for the much awaited summit was announced on Wednesday 'after both sides' decided to announce and it came hours after Beijing "called upon India and Pakistan to engage in dialogue and consultation on all issues including Kashmir issue and consolidate mutual trust".
"So you are paying attention to the Kashmir issue, right? China's position on Kashmir issue is clear and consistent," remarked Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Tuesday virtually contradicting the earlier stand taken by major Chinese officials including Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Since August when the Article 370 was abrogated in J&K and till Tuesday, it had been generally given to understand that Beijing was positioning itself on the Pakistani side.
A group of Indian journalists during various interaction in Beijing and other places in the last part of August also got the impression that China was keen for resolution of the 'problems' between India and Pakistan 'bilaterally'.
However, a senior Chinese official had remarked once: “It is not a wise choice to put pre-condition to dialogue.” This was in reference to New Delhi's insistence on the point that Pakistan should take concrete and convincing actions against terror menace.
Pakistan - basking under such given situations - perhaps got a shocker on Tuesday.
Beijing deliberately gave out a message that there is a 'change' in its stance.
Not long ago, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi raised the Kashmir bogey in his UN General Assembly speech last month invoking UN resolutions on the same.
Predictably, New Delhi had protested on the same.
The first unique bilateral and Informal summit between Mr Modi and Mr Xi Jinping at Wuhan in April 2018 had gone down well and like the Indian side – the Chinese government also believes that the parleys between two leaders could 'bring back' the diplomatic relations ‘back to normal’.
Former External Affairs Minister of India – Sushma Swaraj (now deceased) – had said that both sides could resolve the Doklam dispute by ‘matured diplomacy’.
The refrain among the Chinese officials is now that there is ‘hope’ about ‘forward movement' in trade talks as the big trade imbalance ought to be addressed.
Officials in Delhi said on Wednesday that the existing Confidence Building Measures (CBMs) and the 'guidance' from the top leadership that is enforced since 1989 in both India and China have worked and will help both the countries work towards resolving some of the long-pending 'unresolvable' problems.
Important matters related to terrorism, terror funding and Indo Pacific could also figure at the talks between the two leaders - who otherwise also face one similarity - the vexed trade disputes with the United States.
“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,” MEA said here in a statement.
Government officials maintained there has been "needless speculation" on why the Chinese President's visit was not announced earlier.
"We have had a clear confirmation for weeks.....," a source remarked.
In Beijing, vice-foreign minister Luo Zhaohui hailed the Informal Summit concept and said on Wednesday: “This is a new way of exchanges between Chinese and Indian leaders. This has proven to be very effective".
The Chinese ambassador in India, Sun Weidong, also tweeted saying: "......Hope their Strategic guidance and friendship will usher China-India ties into a new chapter".
An Indian official also virtually made light of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan's visit to China lately.
"India, however, would not see Mr Khan's visit to China ahead of Chinese President's visit to India as hyphenation of Indo-Pak relations vis-a-vis China.... it is of no concern to New Delhi," the source said.(UNI)