External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar stressed on people-to-people exchanges between India and China, just days before Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to hold his first meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping after winning a second-term in the top office in New Delhi.
Jaishankar on Tuesday presided over an event to flag-off the first batch of Kailash Manasarovar Yatra – the annual pilgrimage to the holy place at Tibet Autonomous Region. He appreciated the support extended by the Chinese Government to the Yatra. He underlined that the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra was an important initiative to promote people-to-people exchanges and strengthening friendly ties between the two countries.
The people-to-people exchanges between India and China are likely to figure prominently when Modi and Xi would hold a bilateral meet on the sideline of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization's summit at Bishkek – the capital of Kyrgyz Republic – later this week.
This is the first meeting between the two leaders after the Lok Sabha elections in India.
Modi will host Xi later this year for the second “Informal Summit” – a new mechanism of dialogue the two leaders launched in April 2018 when the first such talks happened at Wuhan in central China.
Jaishankar wished the pilgrims a “safe and spiritually-fulfilling journey”.
“It is beyond what you can imagine!” he posted on Twitter.
He also tweeted a picture of himself at Kailash Manasarovar, taken during his visit to the holy site in 2012, when he was India's envoy to China.
“Recall the memories of my 2012 visit to Kailash Manasarovar. Once in a lifetime experience!” posted Jaishankar.