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HindustanTimes Mon,15 Sep 2014

Li in India

Will India and China go beyond niceties?
HT Correspondent, Hindustan Times
New Delhi, May 20, 2013
First Published: 00:36 IST(20/5/2013)
Last Updated: 09:21 IST(20/5/2013)
Prime Minister Manmohan Singh talks with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang in New Delhi. PTI Photo

The Indo-China joint statement expected on Monday is not likely to include an affirmation of the One China policy that recognises Tibet and Taiwan as part of China.

This would assume significance in light of China’s recent incursion into Ladakh, India’s concerns about Chinese infrastructure-building activities in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir and issues of sovereignty.

The joint statement, still in the works, is to be issued after PM Manmohan Singh holds talks with visiting counterpart Li Keqiang on Monday.

At the talks, India is set to raise the issue of the Chinese incursion and hope for a “more favourable response” on the Brahmaputra joint mechanism that Delhi had proposed after Beijing unveiled plans to build three more dams on the river. But no big breaks are expected.

India abides by the One China policy but the absence of its mention will be a second — the first being in 2010 during then premier Wen Jiabao’s visit.

Sources explained the likely absence by saying that India insists on "mutual respect of each other's concerns". But it is learnt that China hasn't pushed for a mention of the policy either.

What China is expected to take up is the issue of Indian activities along the line of actual control and also push for the early conclusion of the border defence cooperation agreement. But Indian sources said that concrete movement on the border mechanism is expected only when Singh visits Beijing later this year.

At least five pacts will be signed after the leaders meet, while one to simplify the visa regime will also be set in motion. Both sides will also boost their trade and business ties and cooperation in the international arena, including Afghanistan.

But Indian efforts to get a stronger position on terrorism didn't work because of Beijing's closer ties with Pakistan, sources said.


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