India, China to hold economic strategic talks to facilitate trade | delhi | Hindustan Times
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India, China to hold economic strategic talks to facilitate trade

India and China are in the process of setting up a strategic economic dialogue to help settle outstanding trade and investment problems, said sources.

delhi Updated: Apr 13, 2011 01:10 IST
Pramit Pal Chaudhuri

India and China are in the process of setting up a strategic economic dialogue to help settle outstanding trade and investment problems, said sources.

Prime Minister Manmohan Singh arrived in the palm-tree dotted resort town of Sanya, on the Chinese island of Hainan, for the third BRICS summit and a bilateral meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Sources said Singh and Hu would look to see how they could take relations forward. This diplomatic gloss of relations follows what was described as a period of “border calm,” joint Sino-Indian stances in the United Nations Security Council and a reminder that lower-level bilateral military contacts were continuing.

India was taking a “wait and watch” attitude regarding the stapled visas for Kashmiris, sources admitted. But New Delhi believed the visa issue was not “the be all and end all of relations.” The Indian strategy would be to “work quietly” with China on this issue to try and make them “go in the direction we want.” There were no problems along the Sino-Indian border it was stressed. If anything it was unusually calm, even after factoring in the fact it was winter.

India and China had taken similar stances at the Security Council regarding the UN resolution okaying military force in Libya. There was potential for further coordination here as “West Asia developments have a huge impact on both of countries.”

While the suspension of high-level military exchanges following the Chinese refusal to provide a visa to the Northern Army Commander, Lt Gen. BS Jaswal, last year remained in place, sources pointed out, other military interactions “have gone on, including flag meetings and border exchanges.”

In a pre-BRICS summit interview with Xinhua news agency, Singh laid out some of the other bilateral issues the two countries could work together on: “comprehensive and inclusive economic development, food and energy security, sustainable development, the Doha round of trade talks and reform of international financial institutions.”

Sources addressed a number of myths that had arisen regarding China. There was a strong denial of claims that there was a Chinese military presence in Nepal. There was also “no proposal” by Beijing to make the yuan a reserve currency or “settle all international accounts with the yuan.”

The present excitement over the Dalai Lama’s desire to give up all political posts among Tibetans was not a bilateral issue. “With India they haven’t raised the issue,” said sources.