The spirit of Bangkok continued to live in Bangalore. The Indian and Chinese foreign ministers met on Tuesday for what was termed a “frank” but “fruitful” exchange on all issues that have “bothered” the two sides.
<b1>The two met after the the 9th trilateral meeting between India, China and Russia. The Sino-Indian exchange was noteworthy given it came the day after it was known New Delhi had cleared the Dalai Lama’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh.
The meeting between S M Krishna and Yang Jiechi took a longer-than-expected 90 minutes — indicative of how much still troubles the waters between the two. Sources said both “stuck to their publicly-stated stands” and put forth well-drafted positions on contentious issues.
“We agreed on the importance of further developing high-level exchanges, of enhancing trade and economic cooperation, and on progressing our defence contacts,” Krishna said.
There was plenty of exchange but not much agreement. New Delhi raised concerns about reported Chinese plans to build dams on the upper Brahmaputra, China’s infrastructure development in Pakistan-Occupied Kashmir and the provision of stapled visas for Indian Kashmiris.
Beijing expressed concern over the Dalai Lama’s visit. India’s responded by calling him a “spiritual figure” who refrained from political activities on Indian soil — and Arunachal was very much on Indian soil.
Though officials declined to confirm it, India reportedly told China that it was now the sole barrier to the UN Security Council imposing sanctions against Jaish-e-Mohammad and its head Maulana Masood Azhar.