Sushma Swaraj meets China's Wang Yi: From Masood Azhar to NSG, MEA flags India's concern

On the sidelines of the recent Chinese transgression in Himachal Pradesh and the growing tensions between the two neighbours, on Saturday India and China held discussions on longstanding issues of conflict. External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and flagged issues that are of mutual concerns for the two nations.

Wang Yi, who is on a three-day tour to India, met his Indian counterpart on Saturday. Wang was also called upon by Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi before he held discussions with Swaraj.

From China's refusal to support India's bid to gain Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) membership to the Masood Azhar issue, Swaraj flagged India's key concerns that have resulted in a bottleneck for Indo-China relations.

Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang, during their talks, decided to put in place a new mechanism at the level of Foreign Secretaries to discuss various aspects of bilateral ties which have witnessed strain in the recent past.

Swaraj also conveyed to Wang, India's concerns on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Pakistan-occupied-Kashmir (PoK) during the three-hour-long discussion. While no concrete statement were made by any of the two leaders on border issues, sources said that the situation on the border was reviewed and further steps to strengthen peace and tranquillity were discussed. "A new mechanism at the level of Foreign Secretaries agreed to discuss ties," sources said.

In the past, Swaraj has raised the issue of China blocking India's efforts to get JeM chief Azhar, mastermind of the Mumbai and Pathankot terror attacks, banned by the UN.

According to PTI sources, "China's technical hold on listing of Masood Azhar in the UNSC 1267 Committee was also taken up. China was urged to revisit its technical hold in line with its own professed zero tolerance towards terrorism."

On the NSG issue, PTI sources said, "Lengthy discussion were held on India's NSG membership. Swaraj outlined importance of meeting our clean energy goals in the context of COP-21. India offered to discuss any technical issues China may have. It was agreed that the DGs of Disarmament of the two countries would meet soon."

In June during the plenary meeting of the 48-nation grouping, China had scuttled India's bid for membership of the  NSG on the grounds that it was not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), evoking a strong reaction from India.

India had said China was the only country that put a road block to its NSG membership.

Interestingly, on NSG, Chinese state-run media had sent a rare positive signal stating India need not be downhearted as the door for its entry into the elite club is not completely shut.

Significantly, the Chinese minister's visit comes a few days after China's incursion in the Chamoli district of Indian state of Himachal Pradesh. These troops reportedly camped with arms despite India and China's agreement to keep the area demilitarised.

Bara Hoti, which is spread across 80 in Chamoli, is a disputed territory between India and China. However, this was not the first time that Chinese troops have infiltrated the border.

Meanwhile, on Friday Wang had hinted upon garnering support for China's claim on the disputed South China Sea. According to a The Times of India Wang said, "It is up to India what position it has to take." The report said that Wang may try to persuade India not to join the dissenting voices over China's control on the disputed waters.

With inputs from PTI

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Updated Date: Aug 14, 2016 12:38:20 IST

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