NEW DELHI: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit China in May this year, external affairs minister Sushma Swaraj said on Sunday, ahead of the meeting with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.
“Modiji is going to come in May. I will give them the dates today. This is a preparatory visit,” Swaraj told the Indian media after addressing the Indian community.
Swaraj is in China on a four-day visit and is accompanied by the new foreign secretary S Jaishankar. Previously Chinese President Xi Jinping to break protocol, will meet Sushma Swaraj
She said her maiden visit to China also focussed on opening the additional route for the Kailash Manasorvar Yatra for which preparations are on.
“It is a big thing,” she said. The route is expected to provide more comfortable journey experience to pilgrims with a facility to travel to Kailash-Manasarovar directly by buses.
Modi’s visit to China is a reciprocal one by President Xi Jinping to India in September last year.
The visit is expected to put at rest concerns in China arising out US President Barack Obama’s second visit that some analysts here say is aimed at scuttling burgeoning India-China ties.
“Even in the last eight months it is already evident that dramatic transformations are underway in my country that will accelerate our journey to modernity,” Swaraj said.
Speculation is rife that Modi will be visiting Kailash through the new route when he arrives on his maiden visit to China as the Prime Minister.
Xi is expected to take him to Xian, capital of his home province Shaanxi, to recreate the bonhomie generated by Modi who had taken the Chinese President to Ahemadabad, the capital of his home state Gujarat.
Earlier addressing the Indian community of Beijing at the Indian embassy, Swaraj appealed to the overseas Indian community to join various campaigns like ‘Clean India’, ‘Clean Ganga’ and ‘Beti Bachao Beti Padao’ initiated by Modi to help India progress.
(With inputs from PTI)