The President of China, Xi Jinping, is scheduled to have a second informal summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Mamallapuram near Chennai on October 11 and October 12.
The summit comes at a time that China has made a u-turn on its position on Kashmir, which came as a big snub to Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan who visited India's northern neighbour just last week. Pakistan's 'all-weather friend', which had until this point supported it in its attempts to bring Kashmir up on international fora, has now called Kashmir a bilateral issue between India and Pakistan.
Mamallapuram also has a long history with China, as it lies against the Bay of Bengal which goes on to connect with the South China sea. Over the millennia, there has been significant maritime connect over this route.
The previous Wuhan summit has happened against the backdrop of India and China standoff on the Dhoklam issue in 2017, and had gone a long way to defusing the situation. Ahead of the Mamallapuram meeting, China has also made statements towards making ties more harmonious.
China has highlighted the importance of this meeting by calling it an opportunity of “friendship” and “strategic guidance” for both the nations which have been old trading partners. In a tweet, the Chinese Ambassador to India Sun Weidong said: “Chinese President Xi Jinping will visit India from October 11th to 12th for the 2nd Informal Summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Chennai. Hope their Strategic guidance and friendship will usher China-India ties into a new chapter.”
The first informal summit between India and China was held at the Chinese city of Wuhan, last year, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping met each other after the Doklam incident.
The statement on Kashmir was made in a press briefing after Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan visited China. "China's position on the Kashmir issue is consistent and clear. China hopes that India and Pakistan will strengthen dialogue on disputes including Kashmir, enhance mutual trust and improve relations. This is in line with the common interests of both India and Pakistan and is the common expectation of the countries and the international community," said Chinese officials.