President Hu Jintao’s key trouble-shooter Zhou Yongkang, known as a security czar in the Chinese establishment, is set to visit India later this year.
Zhou , a member of the politburo of the Chinese Communist Party and the secretariat of the party’s central committee, will be the highest ranking Chinese official to visit India since both countries started celebrating 60 years of diplomatic ties this year.
He is also said to have a key role in China’s Tibet policy.
Zhou had planned to visit India last November. However, the Chinese side called it off in the wake of the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunanchal Pradesh, which the Chinese consider disputed territory.
According to Indian officials, the visit is likely to take place in November-December. Zhou is keen on meeting leaders of the Congress, BJP, CPM and CPI.
While both countries are keen on continuing political exchanges, top government sources said New Delhi would review defence exchanges with China — which had been put on hold — to evaluate whether there is any change in Beijing’s position on Jammu and Kashmir.
The defence exchanges had been put on hold after Lt Gen B.S. Jaswal, the Northern Command chief whose jurisdiction included Jammu and Kashmir, was denied permission to visit China.
However, Beijing had maintained that neither had they suspended the defence exchange programme nor did India inform them about the same.
“We have a set of concerns ranging from the stapled visa issue to Chinese activities in the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir. We wanted to give Chinese time to address the concerns... We will be reviewing the situation sometime this month,” said a senior official.