National security advisors of India and China will meet next week to discuss measures to improve bilateral ties, which are strained by differences over a host of issues, including India’s admission into the NSG and Beijing’s attempts to block UN ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar.
National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi will meet in Hyderabad in the first week of November for informal dialogue on the state of bilateral relations, especially the irritants bedevilling the development of ties, officials said.
Besides blocking India’s admission into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), China had put a second technical hold on India’s move to bring about a UN ban on Azhar. Also, India has been protesting over the $46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which is being laid through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
While India is concerned over the Pakistan factor creeping into India-China relations making the bilateral ties more complex, China is airing its apprehensions over the movement to boycott Chinese goods in India as well as the visit of US ambassador to New Delhi, Richard Verma, to Arunachal Pradesh, which it considers as Southern Tibet. Another sore point with China is India’s permission to allow the Dalai Lama to visit the area.
Chinese officials say Beijing is apprehensive about India moving closer to the US, and Japan broadening its strategic and defence ties with both the countries.
Doval and Yang, who are the designated special representatives of the India-China boundary talks, also periodically meet to discuss the whole gamut of the Sino-Indian relations.
Yang was the former foreign minister of China before he was elevated to the rank of state councillor of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) after President Xi Jinping took over power in 2013.
In Chinese power structure, the state councillor is more powerful than the foreign minister on policy issues.
Both Doval and Yang have been meeting regularly to discuss the problems affecting the bilateral relations.
Officials say the Hyderabad meeting is not special representatives dialogue on border but an informal consultation on all issues, including those relating to the borders.
Their meeting is set to take place in the backdrop of the just-concluded plenary meeting of the ruling Communist Party of China, which conferred the status of “core leader” on Xi, broadening his power base both in the party and military.
On India’s admission into the NSG, both sides held in-depth talks over the issue. India has been pressing China to relent on its opposition saying that vast majority of the 48-member group back New Delhi’s case.
China, which is opposing India’s membership on the ground that India is not a signatory to Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), says the group need to work out a proposal on the accession on all the non-NPT countries meaning Pakistan’s admission too.
After talks with India, Chinese officials also held talks with Pakistan on the same issue.
On the issue of ban on Azhar, China has not reacted to Pakistan’s reported move to freeze his bank accounts and keeping him under house arrest. Beijing’s technical hold in the UN on Azhar’s ban issue is due to expire in December.
Doval and Yang were expected to touch on these issues as well as India’s concerns over the ballooning trade deficit which according to Chinese officials touched over $51 billion last year in little over $70 billion trade between the two countries.
China has been promising to step up investments in India besides opening up markets for Indian IT and Pharmaceuticals.