China’s Foreign Minister in Talks with PM Modi and EAM Sushma Swaraj

By Sarkaritel June 10, 2014 14:39

China’s Foreign Minister in Talks with  PM Modi and EAM Sushma Swaraj

By TN Ashok / Diplomatic Editor

New Delhi, June 10, 2014: Wang Yi, China’s Foreign Minister and Special Envoy of the President Xi Jinping, had a 45 minute substantive meeting with the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and also the External Affairs Minister Ms Sushma Swaraj in what is widely described as a major effort to iron out decades old issues concerning the border and also the imbalance in Sino Indian trade affecting the latter.


The talks were “constructive and cordial,” said Syed Akbaruddin, the spokesman for India’s Ministry of External Affairs, who described the meeting as a “courtesy call.” He said Beijing’s envoy delivered a written message from China’s president describing the two countries as “partners in long-term strategic cooperation.” Modi reciprocated the statement from the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi with one of his own, saying in part that “India and China share strong civilizational contacts” and should work to “expand our partnership.”

The Chinese foreign ministry described as positive the two days of meetings, saying on its website the two nations’ foreign ministers on Sunday reached a consensus on four points, among them “to appropriately handle border issues.”

However, the visit of the Chinese foreign minister invited protests by Tibetans who allegedly burned a Chinese flag and shouted anti-China slogans. India is home to the Dalai Lama, the Tibetan spiritual leader. Also a sizable and vocal Tibetan exile community living in India has been a source of diplomatic embarrassment between the two nations particularly for Beijing.

Tibet was and is a diplomatic standoff between India and China for years even as the two nuclear powers struggle to resolve their decade’s long border dispute. India is also not happy with China’s relationship with its neighbor Pakistan, with whom also it is now trying out to iron out differences on issues of security across the borders. India has accused of Pakistan turning a blind eye to training camps on its territory allegedly being encouraged by its inter services security agency ISI.

Wang met his Indian counterpart, Sushma Swaraj, to find ways to improve trade and investment between the two nations as the latter is emerging as a major trading partner and so many Chinese companies are now operating in India in the infrastructure sector particularly power and steel and telecom. The Sino Indian dialogue is among the first major foreign-policy initiatives by India’s new government, led by Modi, who’s Bharatiya Janata Party won a landslide victory last month in the 2014 May General Elections. .

Referring to the Chinese President’s message, Prime Minister Modi appreciated the same saying it was a welcome one from the Chinese government to building relations with the new government in India. He reaffirmed its positive perception of India’s role in the world and conveyed its expectation and desire for the future direction of bilateral relations as both countries pursue their respective developmental dreams.

PM reiterated to the Special Envoy the invite to President Xi to visit India later this year. PM also accepted the Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s invitation to pay an early visit to China.

The two sides will remain in touch through the diplomatic channel to make necessary arrangements for these visits and for other meetings and exchanges of leaders on the side-lines of multilateral Summits.

PM emphasized the potential for greater cooperation between India and China for a strong and prosperous Asia, working for mutually beneficial trade and investment as economic partners, joining hands in various areas like counter-terrorism as neighbours, and promoting vigorous cultural exchanges as inheritors of ancient civilizations having extensive historical and spiritual contacts.

It’s is worth recalling that on Monday India’s President Pranab Mukherjee in his address to a joint sitting of both houses of Parliament had said that Modi’s government intended to “engage energetically “with neighboring countries such as China. He was outlining the Modi government’s economic and foreign-policy agenda.

Modi, who is largely perceived as pro reforms and pro-business, has pledged to revitalize the Indian economy. Which now runs a US $ 40-billion trade deficit with China. Modi is reportedly seeking greater market access for Indian goods in China in an effort to reduce the trade gap and correct the balance of payments position. .

India’s Finance Minister Arun Jaitley told The Wall Street Journal recently in a recent interview, before the election results, that the BJP, if voted into power, would try to make India a bigger manufacturer and exporter, like China. China’s gestures toward India assume significance in the context of overtures by the Japanese government to boost ties with New Delhi. In a January meeting between Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and India’s former Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, India and Japan agreed to work together more closely for peace and stability.

On the other hand, China-Japan ties are restricted by maritime disputes. Modi’s first foreign visit is likely to be to Bhutan and Japan which is being watched closely by China

By Sarkaritel June 10, 2014 14:39