Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived in Chennai on Friday as part of his maiden two-day visit to the state of Tamil Nadu for a second informal India-China Summit with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Mamallapuram.
The Air China plane carrying Xi and around 100 people landed at Chennai Airport at about 2 pm. He was received by Tamil Nadu Governor Banwarilal Purohit, Chief Minister K Palaniswami, Deputy Chief Minsiter O Panneerselvam and others.
PM Modi and Xi are expected to spend around six hours during the informal summit. Apart from the guided tour of the ancient city of Mamallapuram, where the summit will be held, both the leaders will taste South Indian cuisine which has more vegetarian than non-vegetarian dishes.
Xi's entourage includes Ding Xuexiang, member of the Political Bureau of CPC Central Committee, Member of the Secretariat of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the General Office of the CPC Central Committee. Yang Jiechi, member of the Political Bureau of the CPC Central Committee and Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, Wang Yi, state councillor and foreign minister and He Lifeng, vice chairman of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference and Chairman of the National Development and Reform Commission, among others.
Govt sources said that the decision to hold the informal summit at Mamallapuram was Prime Minister Modi’s and both leaders preferred this format as it is more personal and allows a free exchange of views.
Modi will give a personal guided tour of the monuments at Mamallapuram to the Chinese president for an hour. This will be followed by a cultural programme and dinner.