Need dialogue to reduce strategic misunderstandings with India, says China
Speaking to foreign secretary S Jaishankar ahead of the sharply-in-focus strategic dialogue, foreign minister Wang Yi said China attached great importance to the reconstituted and upgraded dialogue.india Updated: Mar 23, 2017 15:35 IST
China on Wednesday called for enhanced communication with India to reduce the level of “strategic misunderstandings” between the two countries and expand cooperation.
Speaking to foreign secretary S Jaishankar ahead of the sharply-in-focus strategic dialogue, foreign minister Wang Yi said China attached great importance to the reconstituted and upgraded dialogue.
He said it will help increase strategic trust and cooperation.
Jaishankar called on Wang for a brief but crucial courtesy call on Wednesday morning before beginning the strategic dialogue with executive vice-foreign minister Zhang Yesui.
Both talks took place at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse, the venue for many official meetings, in Beijing.
Jaishankar is leading a senior delegation of Indian diplomats to meet Chinese counterparts for the first round of the upgraded strategic dialogue on Wednesday amid an ongoing diplomatic chill and cautious optimism about a thaw in ties as the year progresses.
The diplomats are expected to exchange notes on a whole gamut of bilateral ties with India raising two key problems that hit ties last year—China blocking India’s membership to the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and vetoing New Delhi’s repeated efforts to proscribe Pakistan-based JeM chief, Masood Azhar.
Jaishankar, who was India’s longest-serving envoy to China between 2009 and 2013 landed in Beijing from Colombo on Tuesday, and met China’s top diplomat, state councilor Yang Jiechi for an exchange within hours.
In his opening remarks on Wednesday, Wang talked about strategic communication with India.
Peppering his remarks with a lot of “strategic”, Wang said: “I am certain that by raising the levels of this strategic dialogue, our two sides will be able to enhance our strategic communication, reduce strategic misunderstanding and build more strategic trust and deepen our strategic cooperation.”
“And this way, we can better tap into the potential of our bilateral relations and live up to our two nations’ responsibilities to regional and global stability as two important neighbours,” he said.
“Before this, five DGs from us and five secretaries from your side have consultations, which made very good foundation for a successful strategic dialogue,” he said.
The round of strategic dialogue began soon after Jaishankar’s meeting with Wang ended.
Briefly speaking to reporters before the talks, the executive vice-foreign minister, Zhang said: “It is the continuation of the strategic dialogue between the two countries. I expect we will discuss a whole range of issues that are important to our countries”.
On his part, Jaishankar in his opening remarks before the dialogue with Zhang, said: “There are as is natural issues, which neighbours and major countries have.”
“I think the fact that we have expanded and restructured the dialogue underlines that today it is not just the bilateral relations that are important…we have truly transcended the bilateral dimension of our relationship… What happens between India and China have both great global and regional significance,” Jaishankar said.
“Our assessment coming in is that our bilateral relations have really acquired a very steady momentum over many years. Our leadership level meetings have been taking place regularly and our economic engagement is growing. We are seeing cooperation on many international issues. And, our border areas have maintained peace and tranquillity, he said.”