PM Modi-Xi Jinping meeting in Mamallapuram today: Why India chose coastal Tamil Nadu as venue for ‘informal’ summit

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Updated: Oct 11, 2019 12:08 PM

The site for the second informal meet between the two Asian leaders was picked meticulously to highlight the centuries-old link between the two neighbouring nations.

Mamallapuram, Modi-Xi Jinping meeting
While all eyes are on the Mamallapuram summit, India and China are unlikely to ink any agreement during the PM Modi-Xi Jinping meeting. (Photo/ANI)

Modi-Xi Summit in Mamallapuram: The coastal town of Mamallapuram has turned into a fortress for the ‘informal summit’ between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping. While the Navy and Indian Coast Guards have deployed their warships off the coast, over 6,000 policemen are on the ground guarding every nook and corner of this ancient town located some 56 km from state capital Chennai.

The site for the second informal meet between the two Asian leaders was picked meticulously to highlight the centuries-old link between the two neighbouring nations. Mamallapuram or Mahabalipuram, as it was known in ancient times, was part of China’s Silk Route and the town served as a major destination for China’s trade links with the Pallava Kingdom.

Famous Chinese monk Hieun Tsang had visited Kancheepuram, the erstwhile capital city of the Pallava dynasty around 640 AD. The kingdom was then ruled King Narasimhavarman, whom people fondly referred as Mammalan, meaning ‘great wrestler’ in Tamil.

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While all eyes are on the Mamallapuram summit, India and China are unlikely to ink any agreement during the PM Modi-Xi Jinping meeting. However, sources said issues like Kashmir, border disputes, terrorism and trade are likely to come up during the one-on-one talks between the two leaders.

“The meeting will once again send a consistent message of China and India to the whole world and inject stability and positive energy to the world that is full of uncertainty,” Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Luo Zhaohui told the media in Beijing earlier this week.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi had met Xi Jinping during a similar interaction in Wuhan in April last year. The meeting helped ties between New Delhi and Beijing normalise after the strained ties following the 2017 Doklam standoff.

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