Nirmala to leave for China on Monday

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will leave for China on Monday. PTI File Photo

Nine months after the Doklam stand-off, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will leave for China on Monday.

Nirmala's April 23-25 visit is scheduled before that of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's April 27-28 visit to the communist country for an “informal” summit meeting with Xi Jinping in the  city of Wuhan.

Nirmala's visit is a part of the preparatory process related to the upcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) later this year. Nirmala is likely to have bilateral meetings with a number of Chinese leaders.

Her predecessor Manohar Parrikar was the last Indian defence minister to travel to China in March 2016.

Several Indian ministers and officials travelled to Beijing in the recent months to prepare the grounds for the SCO meeting. India and Pakistan are the two latest members of the SCO.

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