Monday, June 5, 2017




China on Monday welcomed remarks by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Russia regarding the status of India-China ties, and stressed that a positive relationship between Beijing and New Delhi was of global significance.“We have noted the positive remark made by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi about the China- India (situation). We welcome that,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying observed during her regular media briefing.“The two major countries China and India maintaining sound and steady bilateral relationship is of great significance,” she observed.
Ms. Hua was responding to a question regarding observations by Prime Minister in St. Petersburg, where he had stressed, during a panel discussion, that despite their border dispute, the China-India frontier was peaceful for the last four decades. "It is true that we have a border dispute with China. But in the last 40 years, not a single bullet has been fired because of it," he said.During an interview with Russia Television (RT), Mr. Modi had said that “the 21st century is the century of Asia”. “It means that both India and China will influence the situation of the world in the coming decades.”Earlier in the day, China’s Assistant Foreign Minister Li Huilai had welcomed the “multiple meetings” between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, and pointed out that “healthy relations” between China and India would contribute “to Asia (as well as) world peace stability”.
Mr. Li, however, did not confirm whether the two leaders would meet on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), which gets underway in Kazakhstan’s capital, Astana, on June 7.Analysts point out that after the friction caused by the Belt and Road summit held in the Chinese capital that India boycotted, Beijing and New Delhi were now keen to re-pivot their ties in a positive direction. A string of Indian ministers starting with Science and Technology minister, Harsh Vardhan who arrived in Beijing on Monday, are in the offing. The visitors would also include the minister of state for external affairs V.K. Singh, who will arrive in Beijing later his month to participate in the first meeting of foreign ministers of the Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa (BRICS) grouping.
Ms. Hua underscored that China and India have taken “serious measures” to maintain peace and tranquility over the border areas.Asked to comment on the alleged straying of a Chinese helicopter across the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control (LAC), Ms. Hua referred to the Chinese defence ministry for further detail of the incident. But she said that “in principle,” China and India have territorial disputes in the eastern section of the Sino-Indian frontier.“The Chinese military carry out regular patrolling in the relevant areas. We hope that the two sides will make joint efforts to maintain tranquility and peace in the border areas.”Responding specifically to the Prime Minister observation regarding the border, Ms. Hua said that, “Actually, leaders of the two countries pay great attention to the boundary question.”
She added: “Each time they meet, they would exchange views on this issue. Both sides agree that an early settlement of the boundary questions serves interest of the both sides. It helps both sides to achieve their strategic goal. Both sides have been discussing the settlement of the boundary question.”In response to another question, Mr. Li,, said that India’s bid for membership of the 48-nation Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) “is more complicated then what was imagined previously”. He added: “China supports the NSG to have several consultations to reach a non-discriminatory and universally applicable solution to all the members of the NSG.”During his briefing, which mainly covered the SCO, Mr. Li confirmed that India and Pakistan will become full members of the grouping during the course of the Astana summit.He said that a resolution would be passed “according status of membership to India and Pakistan”. With the inclusion of the two countries, the “geographic coverage (of the SCO) will be extended to South Asia, covering three-fifth of the Eurasian continent covering half the population of the world”.
Steering clear of any reference to Islamabad, Mr. Li highlighted that combating international terrorism was a shared global responsibility.Asked to comment on accusations that the Haqqani network, allegedly backed by the Pakistani intelligence, was behind the recent Kabul blasts that killed scores, Mr. Li said that Beijing opposed “all forms of terrorism”.Citing the string of terror attacks that targeted Afghanistan, Britain, and the Philippines, the Chinese official highlighted that global consensus had been achieved that “the international community had to jointly tackle terrorism”. No “single country or party” had the capacity to tackle the menace alone.

Prof. John Kurakar

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