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China, India to continue with bilateral relations

world Updated: Apr 15, 2014 00:08 IST
Sutirtho Patranobis

A political regime change in India will not impact Indo-China ties, China said on Monday, adding that whichever political party wins, Beijing hopes it will continue to strengthen relations and cooperate on issues concerning both countries.

China is keenly following the ongoing elections in India and the visit of foreign secretary Sujatha Singh, who arrived in Beijing over the weekend for the 6th Annual Strategic Dialogue (ASD), gave an opportunity to the diplomats of both countries to reaffirm their ties -- plagued by festering disputes -- and the precious momentum, bilateral relations have been perceived to be achieved in recent years.

Singh, who is headed to Moscow from Beijing, met vice-foreign minister, Liu Zhenmin on Monday afternoon and is expected to meet foreign minister, Wang Yi later on Monday night.

On Sunday, she had a round of meetings with experts from some of China’s top think-tanks and dispelled doubts about India’s continuing foreign policy in case a new regime takes over the reins of New Delhi.

Singh is learnt to have explained to the Chinese experts that India’s permanent bureaucracy will ensure that broad perimetres of India’s bilateral foreign policies will continue on the same path.

“We are confident that to promote China-India friendship is a shared consensus of all political parties in India. So I am confident that whichever party comes into power in India it will stay committed to friendship and cooperation between the two countries,” Liu, also the main interlocutor for the ASD, told the Indian media before his meeting with Singh at the scenic Diaoyutai, or the state, guest house in Beijing.

“I wish to mention in particular that India is undergoing a very important election. Therefore you (SIngh) have chosen to come to China at this very special time to have this strategic dialogue with us. This shows the tremendous importance that the Indian government….attach to this bilateral relationship and we highly appreciate that,” Liu said.

On the ASD, Liu said both parties will talk to each other about issues of the region and world of shared interest.

China and India countries are two large countries and two biggest developing countries in the world, therefore our bilateral relationship has already gone beyond the bilateral scope and naturally besides bilateral cooperation we are also going to talk about regional and international issues,” Liu said.

He added: “So we can see three levels of India china cooperation on the bilateral level, regional level and international level. It is a very important bilateral relationship.”

In her opening remarks before the meeting, Singh said: “My visit here today is to reiterate to the government of China that the government of India attaches the highest priority to India's relations with China. We are committed to consolidating our strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity. The core of our vision is of a good neighbourly relationship based on mutual trust and understanding and where we are sensitive to each other's concerns and aspirations.”