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Xi's first visit to India to set foundation for ties

2014-09-11 09:12 Global Times/Agencies Web Editor: Wang Fan

Chinese President Xi Jinping will make his first visit to India as head of state on a regional visit starting this week, which will also take him to Sri Lanka, the Maldives and Tajikistan until September 19, China's foreign ministry said on Tuesday.  [Special coverage]

Xi will begin his trip in Tajikistan, where he will attend a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Thursday and Friday.

After that, Xi will travel to the Maldives, Sri Lanka and India, the ministry said.

Experts say that the visit to India would be a highlight of this trip, and the two countries are expected to discuss how to promote cooperation bilaterally, regionally, and globally as the two largest developing countries.

The leaders will set a foundation for the Sino-Indian relationship in the next five to 10 years during this visit based on the prospect of the two new leaderships, Hu Shisheng, a research fellow at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, told the Global Times.

Meanwhile, territorial disputes might not be the main topic, said analysts, as this requires more wisdom and patience from both sides.

The foreign ministry provided no further details, although over the weekend it said that Xi had postponed a trip to Pakistan which had originally been part of his tour due to ongoing unrest in the country.

The postponement is unusual, however, it may not be a negative move. Previously, Chinese leaders would visit India and Pakistan in one trip, but those trips did not come off well, said Hu.

"Diplomatic relations between the two countries have not yet been normalized, so that no matter which country is the first stop, the other one would question if we are balancing one using the closer relation with the other," said Hu.

"So separate trips to India and Pakistan might actually improve the effect of the visits," Hu said, noting that postponing the visit will not harm the close Sino-Pakistani relationship.

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