NEW DELHI: India and China are set to hold their first strategic dialogue with foreign secretary S Jaishankar travelling to Beijing. India and China will discuss “all issues of mutual interest in bilateral, regional and international domain”. A ministry of external affairs (MEA) spokesperson said that the two countries would be discussing “friction points”.
In the backdrop of China protesting India's hosting of Taiwanese legislators and New Delhi miffed at Beijing refusing to understand its sensitivities on the issues of entry to NSG and proscribing Masood Azhar, the two countries are set to hold their first strategic dialogue.
"India and China share a close development partnership and there are a number of issues between the two countries. While there are collaborative activities, there are also some friction points,” Swarup said.
"The idea is that through the mechanism of this strategic dialogue, the foreign secretary from our side and his Chinese counterpart can take a holistic view of India-China relations and see to what extent the two sides can accommodate each other's concerns and interests," he added.
The ‘new, comprehensive’ mechanism was set up during the visit of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in 2016.
The timing of India hosting Taiwanese legislators just before the dialogue cannot be overstated. China’s observers contend that Beijing likes to negotiate from a position of strength and India’s assertive stand vis-à-vis Taiwan is seen as a way of getting back at the eastern neighbour.
Jaishankar has on numerous occasions enumerated that China is expected to be appreciative of India’s interests “especially when they are not in conflict with those of Beijing” and that the two countries need to approach each other with a bit of “strategic maturity”.
Categorically, in January 2017, Jaishankar made it explicit that China needs to respect other people’s sovereignty. “China is a country which is very sensitive on matters concerning its sovereignty. So we would expect that they would have some understanding of other people’s sensitivity on their sovereignty,” he said, noting there was no sign of any reflection from China on India’s concerns over CPEC project.
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