India, China agree sound bilateral ties to help global stability

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New Delhi, Feb 24 (IANS) India and China, during Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale’s two-day Beijing visit, have stressed that “sound development of relations” between them will help in bringing stability to today’s world, the External Affairs Ministry said on Saturday.

The visit comes amid a host of diplomatic issues the two countries are having to contend with, including the situation in the Maldives.

The ministry said, in a statement, that during the course of his visit on Friday and Saturday, Gokhale held talks with Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Vice Foreign Minister Kong Xuanyou.

“During the consultations, the two sides reviewed recent developments in bilateral relations, including high level exchanges, and discussed the agenda for bilateral engagement in the coming months,” the statement said.

“Both sides agreed upon the need to expedite various dialogue mechanisms in order to promote multifaceted cooperation across diverse fields of India-China engagement,” it added.

According to the statement, both sides “noted the need to build on the convergences between India and China and address differences on the basis of mutual respect and sensitivity to each other’s concerns, interests and aspirations”.

“Both sides underlined that as two major countries, sound development of relations between India and China is a factor of stability in the world today,” it said, adding both also discussed regional and international issues of “common interest”.

The visit of Gokhale, who has served as India’s Ambassador to China, comes amid the raging political crisis in the Maldives where President Abdulla Yameen has imposed a state of emergency in wake of the country’s Supreme Court at the beginning of this month terming unjust the imprisonment of nine MPs and former President Mohammed Nasheed.

His visit also comes in the wake of last year’s 73-day standoff between Indian and Chinese troops at the Doklam plateau in Bhutan. This came even as tensions have been continuing between the two for decades over the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control border issue.

India has also raised objections to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a part of Beijing’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative, as it passes through Pakistan-administered Kashmir.

China is the only country that has been blocking India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) on the ground that for a country to be a member of the 48-nation bloc, it should be a signatory to the nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

Another major irritant has been Beijing’s continuous scuppering of New Delhi’s efforts to put the name of Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammed terrorist group’s leader Masood Azhar on the UN list of designated terrorists.

–IANS

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