Vice President embarks on China visit

RSTV Bureau

ansari_chinaVice President Hamid Ansari left on Thursday on a five-day visit to China where he will hold bilateral discussions with his counterpart Li Yuanchao and attend events to mark the 60th anniversary of Panchsheel agreement.

This is the first visit of an Indian leader to China after the Narendra Modi government took over last month. It is also Ansari’s first visit to China, and the first by an Indian Vice President since 1994. Then Vice President K R Narayanan had visited China in 1994.

“We expect substantive outcome based on the discussions between the two Vice Presidents. India and China have maintained regular contacts at high level. This is part of our strategic communication with each other,” MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin had told reporters on Wednesday.

A high-level delegation, which includes Commerce Minister Nirmala Sitharaman and Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, is travelling with the Vice President.

Ansari is travelling to China to attend events to mark the 60th anniversary of Panchsheel at Beijing on June 28 and 29.

Besides meeting his Chinese counterpart, the Vice President will also meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. He will also call on President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People.

Apart from the bilateral aspects of the Vice President’s visit, he will also participate in a trilateral summit on behalf of India where besides the host China, the President of Myanmar will also be present.

The Vice President’s first stop in China this evening will be Xian, the ancient capital in central China known for its terracotta warriors and historical links with India through Buddhism.

Ansari’s visit was finalised after Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi visited New Delhi earlier this month as the special envoy of President Xi to establish contacts with the new Indian leadership.