The joint statement issued by the Chinese and Indian sides on Thursday spoke of no change in New Delhi’s stance on Tibet being part of China, or New Delhi’s “one China policy”.
The only difference this time from the previous joint statements of 2008, 2005 and 2003 is that it made no specific reference to the “one China policy” or Tibet.
Addressing the media, foreign secretary Nirupama Rao played down the omission of the one-China policy in the joint statement.
She said Premier Wen Jiabao was appreciative of the Indian policy of not allowing its soil to be used for anti-Chinese political activities.
The issuing of staple visas for people in Jammu and Kashmir, Chinese funding of projects in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and Beijing’s efforts to keep alive the disputed nature of Kashmir have been major irritants in India-China ties.
The three previous joint statements articulated mainly the following points: the Indian side would continue to abide by its one China policy and oppose any activity that is against this principle. And the Chinese had expressed satisfaction at this.
However, New Delhi wants to drive home the larger point that China’s position on the Kashmir issue is increasingly overlapping with that of Pakistan and it is a matter of concern to India.
Of late, during various negotiations India has been making it clear that what Tibet is to China, Kashmir is to India.
This position had been conveyed in November when external affairs minister SM Krishna met his Chinese counterpart, Yang Yechi.