India, China have same concern on terror: VK Singh

Hindustan Times | BySutirtho Patranobis, Beijing
Oct 31, 2014 07:31 PM IST

India and China share the same broad concerns on international terrorism, minister VK Singh said here on Friday.

India and China share the same broad concerns on international terrorism, minister VK Singh said here on Friday.

Minister of state for external affairs, Singh, who was in Beijing to attend the fourth ministerial meeting of the Afghanistan-centric Istanbul Process, met Chinese foreign minister, Wang Yi., on Friday.

During the meeting, Singh and Wang discussed the issue of maintaining peace and stability in war-torn Afghanistan after NATO troops gradually withdraw from there and terrorism besides other issues of bilateral importance.

There is convergence between India and China on tackling terrorism, Singh said during an interaction with Beijing-based Indian journalists on Friday evening.

“We have shared concerns. Afghanistan should not again become a safe haven for terrorism. Minister Wang said we have the same outlook,” Singh said.

Singh did not give details about what those “shared” concerns were. For one, India blames Pakistan for terror attacks on Indian soil. But China, which blames the shadowy East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) for apparently fomenting separatism and terrorism in its northwestern Xinjiang province, it has never blamed any country for inciting trouble.

When asked to explain the “shared concerns”, Singh didn’t elaborate but reiterated Wang said that terrorism needed to be checked.

“International terrorism and its linkages need to be taken care of. We are happy that China share this view,” Singh said.

Earlier, speaking at the Istanbul Process meeting, Wang said that China supports international counter terrorism cooperation an also counter-terrorism cooperation between countries in the region.

During the briefing, Singh, who is also in-charge of northeast India, said many projects allocated to the region, which were “hibernating for the last 15 years” were being brought back to life.

Those projects include expanding the rail and road networks throughout the region.

The focus, he said, was on building infrastructure across the eight states and increasing employment.

Singh added that the air network was also being strengthened. Existing airports were being upgraded.

Singh added: “For Itanagar airport, the land problem has been sorted out. At the Pasigath, the runway has been lengthened,” he said.

Currently, the availability of land for an airport in Tawang in Arunachal Pradesh –claimed as China as South Tibet – was a problem. A feasibility study was needed, Singh said, adding that one day Tawang will be able to “take an aircraft”.

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