By Times Headline Writer
Relations between Indian and China have a historical background. They have been characterised by border disputes, resulting in three military conflicts — the Sino-Indian War of 1962, the Chola incident in 1967, and the 1987 Sino-Indian skirmish. However, since the late 1980s, both countries have successfully rebuilt diplomatic and economic ties. In 2008, China became India’s largest trading partner and the two countries have also extended their strategic and military relations.
Now, in a remarkable move towards greater peace negotiations, India and China have agreed to maintain the pace of their high-level exchanges in counter-terrorism and other fields after “friendly and open” discussions between their National Security Advisors (NSAs).
NSA Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi concluded their discussions in Hyderabad on Friday in a “friendly, open and cordial environment,” New Delhi officially stated. But it remains vague whether contentious issues like India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group and designation of JeM chief Masood Azhar as global terrorist were discussed.
NSA Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi, State Councillor, concluded their discussions in Hyderabad on Friday in a “friendly, open and cordial environment,” it was officially stated here on Saturday.
The Ministry of External Affairs said their discussions covered a wide agenda spanning bilateral, regional and international issues of mutual interest. It was Mr. Yang’s third visit to India in the last two months.
“The two sides agreed to maintain the pace of high-level exchanges in political, economic, defence and counter-terrorism fields. They also agreed that the forthcoming high-level engagement in counter-terrorism is yet another manifestation of growing convergence of views of two countries on this pressing challenge facing international community,” it said.
No Change in Chinese Stance on Masood Azhar
However, there seems to be no no change in Chinese stance on Masood Azhar. The reference to “growing convergence” in the Indian press note was striking, especially since China has put a hold on the listing of Azhar at the UN Security Council panel. It was learnt that there has still not been any progress in convincing China to remove its technical hold, which will be up for review at the end of this year.
The Chinese news agency Xinhua, quoting from the Chinese foreign ministry press release, said that Doval committed that India was “willing to properly manage and address differences with Beijing to promote mutual benefit and win-win, as well as common development of the two countries”.
On the other hand, the Indian press release reported by PTI says that the consultations had helped to “enhance mutual understanding and will contribute to greater mutual trust” and that more such talks will be held in the future.
Both the press releases demonstrated the countries’ respective priorities. While the Indian communique mentioned counter-terror cooperation, there was no such explicit mention in the Chinese report.
Mr. Doval and Mr. Yang also agreed that their consultations during which they exchanged views on various important and pressing bilateral issues have helped to enhance mutual understanding and would contribute to greater mutual trust. They agreed to continue such consultations in future.