India and China ended two days of intensive talks in Beijing on a high note on Friday, with the Chinese foreign affairs minister declaring that the relationship is heading in the right direction. Yang Jiechi said that the special representatives of the two nations would meet “very soon” for discussions on the boundary issue. “I think the prospect is a good one,” Yang told the media after attending a dinner hosted by Ambassador Nirupama Rao in Beijing. “We believe that we should continue to strengthen the strategic partnership between the two countries.”
External affairs minister Pranab Mukherjee, who landed in China this week after recent tensions over Tibetan protests and China’s claim on a tiny patch of land in Sikkim, said he was satisfied with the discussions on bilateral and international issues. “We decided to work together not only to improve bilateral relations, but also to address the problems faced by the international community, like the food crisis and climate change,” said Mukherjee.
Earlier in the day, speaking to an audience of diplomats, Chinese Hindi professors, students and Beijing's Indian diaspora at the Peking University on Friday, Mukherjee said both countries need to be "patient and realistic" in resolving their differences. Mukherjee later spent about 45 minutes in a meeting with China's vice-president Xi Jinping who is a frontrunner to replace current President Hu Jintao. He also visited the China PLA General Hospital in Beijing to deliver the Padma Bhushan award to 97-year-old Indologist and professor Ji Xianlin, who translated classics like the Ramayana into Chinese covertly during the Cultural Revolution.