India, China foreign ministers hold 'frank, substantive' talks

Written by Press Trust of India | New Delhi | Updated: Jun 9 2014, 00:07am hrs
The entire gamut of bilateral ties including the contentious boundary issue was discussed during a "cordial and substantive" engagement between the foreign ministers of India and China here who met within two weeks of installation of the Narendra Modi government.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met for three hours today to talk about "perennial" bilateral issues which were not specified by an Indian Spokesperson but are believed to have included the boundary dispute, incursions, issuance of stapled visas by China to certain category of Indians, construction of dams on Brahmaputra river and increased Chinese investments.

Dispatched here by Chinese President Xi Jinping as his Special Envoy to meet with India new leadership, Wang was effusive in his praise for the new government saying it had injected new vitality into an ancient civilization. "The international community is closely following developments in India and the Chinese and Indian dreams have a lot of commonalities," the Chinese leader was quoted as speaking by the Spokesperson.

The talks were described as "cordial, useful, productive and substantive" by the MEA Spokesperson, who said, "Even while there was a determination to add new content and substance to the relationship, there was an understanding that respect for the sensitivities and aspirations of each other was an essential for expansion of bilateral relations."

However, the Spokesperson did not specify the issues, saying, "The perennials of India-China engagement are well known to you so I will not list them in a detailed manner but would like to say that all issues of significance were raised and discussed in a frank manner."

Wang, who arrived in the wee hours today, will call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow.

The Spokesperson said the Chinese leader stated that his country welcomes and supports development of India and also that China was ready to engage with the new Government as the two leaders felt that there was untapped potential for growth of economic ties.

The two leaders discussed ways to increase Chinese investments in India through setting up of industrial parks, various infrastructure projects among others. There was also a discussion on how to address India's concern of huge trade deficit of nearly USD 40 billion, the officials said.

China is India's biggest trading partner with two-way trade standing close to USD 65 billion.