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Mukherjee’s four-day China visit from May 24;Pranab seeks China’s cooperation in fighting terrorism 

By Gaurav Sharma

Beijing, May 18 (IANS) Indian President Pranab Mukherjee will be on a four-day visit to China from May 24. This will be the first visit by an Indian head of state to China after six years.

The May 24-27 visit follows an invitation from Chinese President Xi Jinping, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in a statement here on Wednesday.

In 2010, then President Pratibha Patil visited China.

On May 24, Mukherjee will arrive in Guangzhou, a heavily industrialised city along the Pearl river in south China’s Guangdong province.

The city accounts for two per cent of China’s land and contributes 12 per cent of its GDP.

Mukherjee will interact there with the Indian community which is mainly engaged in business.

Chen Jiasheng, director at the foreign affairs office of Guangdong province, refused to comment on the visit.

“I will comment only after I meet the Indian consulate tomorrow,” Chen told IANS on telephone.

President Mukherjee will land in Beijing on May 25 where he is likely to attend a reception by a Chinese forum.

Besides meeting President Xi and Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Mukherjee will visit Peking University where he will interact with students.

Mukherjee leaves for home on May 27.

The visit comes after India’s Defence Minister Manohar Parikar and National Security Adviser Ajit Doval met their Chinese counterparts in Beijing last month.

Beijing’s decision to put on hold India’s bid to designate JeM chief Masood Azhar as a terrorist in the UN is the latest irritant in Sino-Indian ties.

New Delhi, May 18 (IANS) Ahead of his visit to Beijing later this month, President Pranab Mukherjee has said that India should expand cooperation with China in fighting the menace of terrorism.

“India and China are both huge countries — multicultural, multiracial — (and) if they come together in fighting this menace, I am sure it will have its own impact,” Mukherjee said in an interview with CCTV.

“And India always believes that every country should have a zero tolerance policy towards terrorism and the fight is to be all out,” he said.

The President also said that India has a “very comprehensive relationship” with China and that “we consider it is a very important relationship for us”.

“Every state visit has its own significance as it provides an opportunity to the leaders to share their views, explore the possibilities of expanding cooperation between the countries’ concerns and also they exchange their views,on regional, global and multilateral issues,” he said.

Mukherjee is scheduled to visit China from May 24 to 27.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited China in May last year.

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