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Maintaining Peace in Border Areas Essential Pre-requisite for Smooth Ties, India Tells China

Swaraj and Wang also exchanged views on cooperation on multilateral arena and discussed their perspectives on counter-terrorism and collaborative efforts to address other global challenges, such as climate change and sustainable development.

PTI

Updated:April 22, 2018, 7:27 PM IST
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Maintaining Peace in Border Areas Essential Pre-requisite for Smooth Ties, India Tells China
Indian Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, left, meets her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing Sunday, April 22, 2018. AP/PTI
Beijing: India on Sunday said maintaining peace in the border areas with China was an "essential pre-requisite" for the smooth development of bilateral ties as External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj held crucial talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to reset the relations after the Dokalam standoff.

Swaraj and Wang also exchanged views on cooperation on multilateral arena and discussed their perspectives on counter-terrorism and collaborative efforts to address other global challenges, such as climate change and sustainable development.

Swaraj arrived here yesterday on a four-day visit to take part in the foreign ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) from tomorrow.

She was received by Wang at the Diaoyutai State Guest House in Beijing ahead of their bilateral meeting.

This was their first meeting after Wang was elevated as state councillor last month which makes him the top diplomat of the country in the Chinese hierarchy. He also continues to be the foreign minister.

During the meeting, Wang announced that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping will hold an informal summit from April 27-28 in the Chinese city of Wuhan.

In her initial remarks, Swaraj congratulated Wang on being elevated as state councillor and appointed the special representative for the India-China boundary talks.

"This shows how much trust your leadership has in your abilities. I think your new responsibilities will improve India-China relations," she said.

"We will work closely with the Chinese leadership to take India-China cooperation to new heights," she said before the meeting.

"While making efforts to progress our relations in diverse areas, we underlined that maintaining peace and tranquillity in the India-China border areas is an essential pre-requisite for the smooth development of bilateral ties," she said in a press statement with Wang after the meeting.

Following the Dokalam standoff last year, both countries increased dialogue to scale down tensions and improve relations with talks at various levels.

Swaraj said the two sides agreed that as two major countries and large emerging economies, healthy development of India-China relations was important for the emergence of the Asian Century.

"We believe that commonalities outweigh our differences and that we must build on our convergences, while seeking mutually acceptable resolution to our differences," she said.

Swaraj said as part of the preparatory discussions for the Modi-Xi summit, she and Wang noted with satisfaction the progress made in ties since their last meeting in December in New Delhi.

"The (Modi-Xi) meeting in Wuhan flows from the understanding reached by the two leaders last year that India-China ties are a factor for stability in a period of global changes and have a common responsibility for peace, security and prosperity in the world," she said.

Swaraj said during her meeting with Wang, they discussed the importance of strengthening people-to-people contact in bringing the two nations closer to each other.

She also conveyed India's appreciation to the Chinese side for their confirmation on resumption of data sharing on Brahmaputra and Sutlej rivers in 2018.

She expressed happiness that the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through the Nathu La route will be resumed this year.

On his part, Wang said China and India were natural partners in cooperation.

"Our common interests far outweigh our differences. The two countries have no choice other than pursuing ever lasting friendship, mutually beneficial cooperation and a common development," he said.

Wang said he also discussed the prevailing situation in the world and in the region with Swaraj.

"China and India are two major countries with global influence. It falls to both countries to jointly uphold the UN-centered multilateral system, to jointly preserve the WTO-centred international trading rules and to joint tackle terrorism, climate change and a host of other global challenges," Wang said.

"On the eve of the closing of China's National People's Congress this year, President Xi received a very important phone call from Prime Minister Narendra Modi," he said.

Wang said the call spurred a positive momentum in the dialogue process between the two countries.

"Our two leaders had in-depth exchange of views and reached important consensus on furthering the China-India relationship. We must work very hard to implement the consensus between our two leaders.

Today's meeting between Swaraj and Wang was part of efforts by the two countries to step up the pace of high-level interactions to improve relations.

Swaraj and Wang met in the immediate backdrop of the recent meeting between National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and top official of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) Yang Jiechi in Shanghai.

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| Edited by: Huma Tabassum
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