Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) with India's National Security Adviser Ajit Doval (L) in Beijing on Sept 9. (AFP PHOTO/POOL/Lintao Zhang)
New Delhi: Chinese President Xi Jinping will begin his visit to India in Gujarat on September 17 - Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 64th birthday. India is hoping for large investment deals from Beijing.
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Trade minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said President Xi is likely to announce investments in industrial parks. China allegedly plans to invest some $7 billion in two industrial parks, one of which is likely to be located in Gujarat.
Trade between India and China totaled $65.9 billion last year, but $51 billion of that was exports from China.
New Delhi hopes that Chinese investment in the industrial parks will offset the deficit.
Chinese officials have said their President will discuss investment in India's railways as well as nuclear cooperation during his visit. Mr Modi has pledged to upgrade the Indian railways and introduce bullet trains.
The two sides will also seek to push forward negotiations on their border. While the frontier between China and India has never been formally demarcated, the two sides have signed accords.
But in a signal of China's growing economic clout in India's backyard, before reaching Delhi, President Xi will visit Beijing's latest investment in Sri Lanka, a $1.4-billion port city development, just 150 miles from India's coast.
China offered reassurances ahead of the visit that it is not seeking to "encircle" India -- a long-held concern given Beijing's closeness to neighbouring Pakistan and growing investment in Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and the Maldives.
India's strengthening relationship with Japan could give it leverage in its negotiations with Beijing. Mr Modi earlier this month visited Japan where Prime Minister Shinzo Abe pledged to double investment in India over the next five years.
Both India and Japan are wary of Beijing's growing territorial assertiveness. While in Tokyo, Mr Modi was critical of countries with an "expansionist" mindset, a coded jibe against Beijing.
Washington is eager for India and Japan to step up their cooperation by way of counterweight to China.