Vice President Hamid Ansari on China visit, to hold substantive talks

New Delhi, Jun 25: Vice President Hamid Ansari on Thursday leaves on a five-day official visit to China, during which he will attend a trilateral summit in Beijing to mark the 60th anniversary of the Panchsheel and also hold bilateral talks of “substantive outcome” with Chinese leaders.

Ansari will be accompanied by a high-level delegation, including Minister of State for Commerce and Industry Nirmala Sitharaman, as well as Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh, external affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin said at a briefing here Wednesday.

The visit comes as the union cabinet approved in principle a memorandum of understanding for China to set up industrial parks in India.

Ansari’s visit to China is the first by an Indian leader after the Narendra Modi government came to power a month ago. His visit will also be the first by an Indian vice president to China since 1994, when K.R. Narayanan travelled to Beijing.

Ansari will also visit the historic city of Xian, in Shaanxi province, where celebrated Chinese Buddhist monk Huen Tsang translated Buddhist scriptures brought from India in the seventh century. Akbaruddin said Ansari would be participating in delegation-level talks with “substantive outcome”.

The vice president, who is visiting China on the invitation of his counterpart Li Yuanchao, would meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and call on President Xi Jinping at the Great Hall of the People.

He would participate in a trilateral summit along with China and Myanmar to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Panchsheel. Akbaruddin said the visit is expected to “add new content and substance to our bilateral relations with specific outcome”.

China is celebrating the 60th anniversary of Panchsheel, the five principles for peaceful coexistence, over two days. President Xi Jinping, his Myanmar counterpart U Thein Sein and Ansari will take part in the events.

Ansari’s trip comes days after the Indian visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi to establish contact with the government of Prime Minister Modi.