Foreign Secretary S. Jaishankar on Wednesday met China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi and other top officials in Beijing as India and China held the first round of a key new Strategic Dialogue amid differences in ties.
China and India today held their upgraded strategic dialogue to build up bilateral ties amid hectic parleys to resolve differences over Beijing’s reluctance to support India’s NSG bid as well as a UN ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar.
“We have to have frequent meetings,” Yi said, referring to high-level talks held by officials from both sides on critical issues before today’s dialogue. The official-level meetings made very good foundation for the “successful strategic dialogue”, he said, adding that the Chinese side attaches importance to “this reconstituted dialogue”. “I am certain by raising the level of this strategic dialogue the two sides will be able to enhance their strategic communication, reduce misunderstanding and build more trust and deepen our strategic cooperation,” Wang said.
Two prickly issues that will come up during the first round of the upgraded strategic dialogue on Wednesday are China’s negative stance towards India on the issue of Azhar Masood and entry into Nuclear Suppliers’ Group. But Jaishankar has signalled India’s determination to question certain aspects of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor, which passes through the disputed Kashmir areas claimed by India.
“For us, there are questions of sovereignty which need to be addressed first,” Jaishankar was quoted as saying by state-run Global Times. New Delhi believes that the corridor is an affront on India’s stand on Kashmir under Pakistani occupation through which the road passes.
“On terror, China has a very strong, principled position on counter-terrorism. We hope the position China already has will be further implemented,” Jaishankar told the press.