President reaches China on four day visit

RSTV Bureau
New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the ceremonial departure to the State visit to China at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi on Tuesday, May 23, 2016. Also seen in the picture are Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Delhi LG Najeeb Jung and others.  PTI Photo

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the ceremonial departure to the State visit to China at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi on Tuesday, May 23, 2016. Also seen in the picture are Lok Sabha speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Delhi LG Najeeb Jung and others. PTI Photo

President Pranab Mukherjee is on a four-day visit to China during which he will meet top Chinese leadership. With his first visit to the country, the President aims to bolster economic ties and seek cooperation in combating terror in the region. A number of contentious issues may also feature in the talks.

Mukherjee is expected to meet President Xi Jinping, Premier Le Keqiang and other top Chinese leaders.

Ahead of his visit, Mukherjee told the Chinese state-run television that India looks to mutually settle the boundary issue with China to achieve the full potential of Sino-India relationship.

“We seek a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the boundary question and, pending the boundary settlement, to maintain peace and tranquillity in border areas. Both sides should strive to ensure that outstanding issues are addressed in a manner that demonstrates mutual sensitivity to each other’s concerns, interests and aspirations,” the President had said last week.

The President is also likely to raise the issue of China India’s bid to get a UN ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar.

“India and China–both huge countries, multi-cultural, multi-racial–if they come together in fighting this menace, I am sure it will have its own impact…And India always believes that every country should have a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism and the fight is to be all out,” Mukherjee told Chinese state run CCTV.

The comments came against the backdrop of India being extremely upset with Beijing blocking India’s bid to put Azhar on the UN list of proscribed terrorists.

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee receives greetings from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari during the ceremonial departure to China, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi on Tuesday, May 23, 2016. PTI Photo

New Delhi: President Pranab Mukherjee receives greetings from Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari during the ceremonial departure to China, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, New Delhi on Tuesday, May 23, 2016. PTI Photo

Reports say China’s insistence on India signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to get membership of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), is also likely to come up in the talks.

Mukherjee will begin his visit by arriving in the highly industrialised Chinese city of Guangzhou which has strong business links with India and has an economy of over USD 1 trillion.

Besides interacting with the Indian community, which has over 3,000 businessmen, Mukherjee will also address an India-China Business Forum to highlight the investment opportunities in India.

On the second leg of the visit, President Mukherjee will travel to Beijing where he will hold wide-ranging talks with the Chinese leadership on key bilateral, regional and global issues.

A key engagement of the President will be a roundtable of Vice Chancellors of Chinese and Indian universities. A number of MoUs will be signed between academic institutions of both the countries.

In Beijing, the President will also be talking to students of Peking University. Mukherjee is accompanied by a delegation of academicians including Vice Chancellors of two central universities as well as heads of some IITs, IIMs and NITs. Union Minister Santosh Gangwar and four MPs are also accompanying the President as part of the delegation.

(With inputs from PTI)