At a time when relations between India and China have hit a rough patch over Beijing issuing stapled visas to residents of Arunachal Pradesh, the Indian government is preparing the grounds for a possible trip to China by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
The trip could take place in April and Singh is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with Chinese premier Wen Jiabao on the sidelines of the BRIC (Brazil Russia India China) summit then.
Though the meeting would be on the sidelines of the BRIC summit, it would still be significant, going by past experience. For, it was during such a meeting between Singh and Wen, on the sidelines of the East Asia summit in Hanoi in October last year, that the Chinese premier declared his intention to travel to India.
That visit took place in December. While in India, Wen stressed that he would welcome Singh to China in 2011 itself.
India has conveyed strong displeasure to the Chinese side over the visa issue. However, it has also taken with a pinch of salt Beijing’s explanation that it has been issuing stapled visas to people from Arunanchal — a state it claims as its own — for years.