Wednesday, February 21, 2024

Hu Jintao arrives in India, to meet Manmohan

Chinese President Hu Jintao arrived here Wednesday on a two-day visit to participate in the BRICS summit and to hold wide-ranging bilateral talks with Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

The Chinese president is accompanied by a high-profile delegation comprising Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, State Councillor Dai Bingguo, senior ministers and business leaders.

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Hu will meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev Wednesday before participating in the BRICS summit next day. Hu, along with the presidents of Russia, Brazil and South Africa, will attend a banquet hosted by President Pratibha Patil in the evening.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will hold bilaterals Thursday afternoon with the Chinese president that will cover various issues including bridging the trade deficit and fasttracking the new confidence-building measures.

The two leaders are expected to declare 2012 as the year of India-China friendship and unveil initiatives to bolster cultural exchanges and people-to-people contacts.

India is expected is to raise the issue of huge imbalance in bilateral trade which has exceeded $70 billion, with the surplus heavily in China’s favour.

Hu will speak at the plenary session of the 4th BRICS summit Thursday where he is expected to highlight China’s position on global governance, sustainable development and ways to ramp up intra-BRICS trade and investment. This will be the last visit to India by Hu as China goes in for a leadership succession later this year. He last came to India in 2006.

Tibetan activist who immolated himself dies
Meanwhile, a 27-year-old Tibetan youth who set himself ablaze two days ago during a protest here against Chinese President Hu Jintao’s India visit died at a hospital Wednesday morning.

“Jamphel Yeshi, who was admitted in Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital, succumbed to burn injuries Wednesday morning at 9 a.m.,” a hospital spokesperson told IANS.

Yeshi, a resident of north Delhi’s Majnu Ka Tila, set himself on fire Monday at New Delhi’s Jantar Mantar where more than 100 Tibetans were protesting against Hu’s visit here for the BRICS summit.

“Yeshi was very active in the anti-China protest. He was a member of the Regional Tibetan Youth Congress. We had no hopes of him surviving,” Tensin Kyi, a fellow activist, told IANS by phone.

“He was ablaze for at least one-and-a-half minutes. His skin was mottled with black, burn patches by the time he was taken to hospital,” he said.

Yeshi was rushed to Ram Manohar Lohia Hospital with 90 percent burn injuries. He had poured fuel on himself and set himself alight before running towards the crowd where he collapsed.

Booked for BRICS: Busy Thursday for PM
NEW DELHI, MAR 28 (IANS): Barely 30 hours after returning from the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh will Thursday hold a slew of high-profile diplomatic engagements that includes chairing the BRICS summit followed by three back-to-back bilaterals with the leaders of Russia, China and South Africa.

Manmohan Singh begins Thursday morning with a group photo at the Taj Palace hotel with the presidents of the five top emerging economies of BRICS that includes Dmitry Medvedev of Russia, Hu Jintao of China, Dilma Rousseff of Brazil and Jacob Zuma of South Africa.

The economist prime minister then settles down for a restricted meeting with the leaders of BRICS countries for one-and-a-half hours followed by a plenary session where he is expected to pitch for reforming institutions of global governance, including the UN, the IMF and the World Bank.

After a lunch with leaders of BRICS countries, he heads for three back-to-back bilateral meetings starting with Medvedev, followed by the presidents of China and South Africa. The meetings with Hu and Medvedev will be a farewell of sorts to the two leaders.

Medvedev will make way for Vladimir Putin who takes charge of the Russian presidency in May. Hu is expected to make way for Xi Jinping in a planned leadership succession in China later this year. 

On Friday, Manmohan Singh will hold talks with the Brazilian president who will be staying for a two-day state visit that ends Saturday. Manmohan Singh returned from the Nuclear Security Summit in Seoul Tuesday night after a four-day visit.

Besides participating in the multilateral summit, he held nearly half a dozen bilaterals. The 77-year-old prime minister, it seems, will now get some time by himself only over the weekend.

The Chinese president arrived in India Wednesday for the BRICS summit of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

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