NEW DELHI: In the face of unyielding China on issues of importance for India, New Delhi has done a course correction towards Beijing. Its emissary Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Wednesday very subtly conveyed to his counterpart that at a time when international system is in a “flux”, the two neighbours could do with a more “stable” and “forward-looking” relationship.
Observers of the bilateral ties with the dragon see it as a more assertive India hinting at the uncertainty infused by new administration in the US in the international system that can bring it on a collusion path with China on several issues.
“…the international situation is in flux and both India and China have been beneficiaries of a stable and open international system and at this time probably one thing that we could do together was a more stable, substantive, forward looking India-China relationship which would inject a greater amount of predictability into the international system,” Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar said in Beijing after five hours marathon strategic dialogue with Executive Vice Minister in the Chinese Foreign Ministry Zhang Yesui.
The Foreign Secretary also made it clear that the onus of providing proof against Masood Azhar is not with India, when the demand for his listing as a terrorist in the 1267 Committee of the UN Security Council (UNSC) has gained support from the rest of the members. "The extent of JeM (Jaish-e-Mohammad) chief Masood Azhar's actions are 'well documented' and the 'burden of proof' is not on India,” Jaishankar was quoted by the PTI from Beijing.
India also averred that the application for listing of Masood Azhar is being pursued by other countries, not by New Delhi alone. Four of the five permanent members of the UN Security Council have been supporting the application, but China has repeatedly blocked it, at the behest of Pakistan where the JeM chief is said to be in hiding.
The other thorn in the bilateral ties of the two countries has been India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG). Jaishankar summed up Beijing’s intransigent stand on the issue as “these were somewhat different from where we are at the moment and where we think most of the group is at the moment”.
New Delhi also expressed its concerns about the trade deficit between the two countries. “The Chinese have taken some measures but clearly these haven’t addressed the problem in a substantive way,” Jaishankar added.
Meanwhile, a 15-member delegation of China's People's Liberation Army (PLA) held wide-ranging talks with their Indian counterparts here and both sides agreed that peace and tranquility on the border was an important guarantor for expansion of ties.