China gives top billing to Indian PM's visit
Oct 21 2013 , Beijing
"We attach great importance to the visit and are looking forward to it," China's Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told a media briefing here today.
"It is of great importance to deepen China-India strategic partnership as the visit follows the visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to India in May."
In a rare honour, Singh, who is arriving here tomorrow night after a visit to Russia, will be hosted by both Premier Li and President Xi Jinping on the same day.
Among the pacts expected to be signed during the visit is the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA), the draft of which was cleared by the Indian cabinet.
It is perceived as a major confidence-building measure by both countries, which had to grapple this year with a series of Chinese incursions along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) that triggered serious tensions.
A much awaited agreement on liberalising the visa regime was reportedly dropped as India's cabinet did not clear it because of reservations over Chinese visa procedures, like issuing stapled visas for residents of Arunachal Pradesh that led to two Indian archers missing a competition in Beijing.
An agreement on establishing Chinese industrial parks in India, expected to bring in investment from China, too is unlikely to be signed as a Chinese team is still scouting sites in India.
Agreements on promoting culture and people-to-people contacts are expected to be signed.
Besides welcoming Singh at the Great Hall of the People overlooking the historic Tiananmen Square, Li will hold talks with him on a host of issues.
Later, they will jointly address business leaders attending the second India-China CEO Forum being held on the sidelines of Singh’s visit.
Ten top Indian industrialists, headed by Reliance Anil Dhirubai Ambani Group chief Anil Ambani, and prominent Chinese industrialists will be part of the business meet.