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PM, Xi meet to keep Chinese troops out

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived here on Tuesday on a three-day visit during which India and China are expected to ink several key pacts, including an agreement on a mechanism to prevent incursions by Chinese troops along the Line of Actual Control.

Singh, who arrived here from Russia, will hold talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday on a host of issues. He will also meet Zhang Dejiang, chairman of the National People’s Congress, the Chinese parliament.

Besides the Border Defence Cooperation Agreement, a series of pacts are expected to be signed after his talks with Li, officials said. The landmark agreement on border cooperation — expected to be signed on Wednesday — is aimed to avoid face-offs between the armies of the two countries like in Depsang valley in Ladakh recently. However, plans for putting in place a liberalised visa regime look elusive. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, who arrived here to a warm reception on his three-day visit, will meet Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday after which the border agreement is expected to be signed. Giving indications that decks have been cleared for signing of BDCA, sources said, ‘Don’t ask about the outcomes now. We will give you details tomorrow.'

The BDCA was cleared by the Cabinet committee on security last week as part of further confidence building measures to avoid incidents along the LAC which has seen many intrusions from the Chinese side. The BDCA also provides for setting up of a hotline between the DGMOs of the two countries on the lines of the mechanism India has with Pakistan. The deal is expected to be cleared after talks between Singh and Li, who will host a lunch for the prime minister.

This is the second meeting between the two in five months.
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