01/02/2015 4:41 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST

Modi To Visit China In May: Sushma Swaraj

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NEW DELHI, INDIA - SEPTEMBER 18: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands at the agreement signing ceremony at Hyderabad House on September 18, 2014 in New Delhi, India. India and China inked 12 pacts in a range of areas including railways and outer space as Beijing pledged investments of USD 20 billion over five years in a bid to boost economic ties and address Indias concerns over trade deficit. (Photo by Arvind Yadav/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

Beijing: Prime Minister Narendra Modi will visit China in May this year, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today ahead of her meeting with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi.

"Modiji is going to come in May. I will give them dates today. This is a preparatory visit," she told the Indian media after she addressed the Indian Community here.

She said her maiden visit to China also focussed on opening the additional route for the Kailash Manasarovar Yatra for which preparations are on.

"It is a big thing," she said.

The route is expected to provide more comfortable journey experience to pilgrims with a facility to travel to Kailash-Manasarovar directly by buses.

Modi's visit to China is a reciprocal one by President Xi Jinping to India in September last year.

The visit is expected to put at rest concerns in China arising out US President Barack Obama's second visit that some analysts here say is aimed at scuttling burgeoning India-China ties.

Speculation is rife that Modi will be visiting Kailash through the new route when he arrives on his maiden visit to China as the Prime Minister.

Xi is expected to take him to Xian, capital of his home province Shaanxi, to recreate the bonhomie generated by Modi who had taken the Chinese President to Ahmedabad, the capital of his home state Gujarat.

Earlier addressing the Indian community of Beijing at the Indian Embassy here today, Swaraj appealed to the overseas Indian community to join various campaigns like 'Clean India', 'Clean Ganga' and 'Beti Bachao Beti Padao' initiated by Modi to help India progress.

Swaraj will meet her counterpart Wnag today and call on President Xi tomorrow.