External Affairs

India, China Hold Talks, No Change in Chinese Stance on Masood Azhar

Credit: PTI/Files

Credit: PTI/Files

New Delhi: After their day-long meeting on Friday, India and China are no closer to finding common ground on key points of difference, including Chinese support in stopping the UN sanctioning of Jaish-e-Mohammed supremo Masood Azhar.

National Security Advisor Ajit Doval hosted Chinese state councillor Yang Jiechi for talks in Hyderabad on Friday. This was apparently the senior Chinese official’s third visit to India within two months – Yang participated in the BRICS National Security Advisors meeting and accompanied Chinese President Xi Jinping to the summit in Goa.

According to the press release from the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, both senior officials agreed that “forthcoming high level engagement in counter-terrorism field is yet another manifestation of growing convergence of views of two countries on this pressing challenge facing international community”.

The Chinese news agency Xinhua, quoting from the Chinese foreign ministry press release, said that Doval committed that India was “willing to properly manage and address differences with Beijing to promote mutual benefit and win-win, as well as common development of the two countries”.

The reference to “growing convergence” in the Indian press note was striking, especially since China has put a hold on the listing of Azhar at the UN Security Council panel.

It was learnt that there has still not been any progress in convincing China to remove its technical hold, which will be up for review at the end of this year.

Later this month, Meng Jianzhu, Chinese communist party politburo member, will be in India work on the new mechanism on counter-terrorism. Meng heads the party’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, which oversees all legal enforcement agencies.

Besides, the Indian communique said that the consultations had helped to “enhance mutual understanding and will contribute to greater mutual trust” and that more such talks will be held in the future.

Both the press releases demonstrated the countries’ respective priorities. While the Indian communique mentioned counter-terror cooperation, there was no such explicit mention in the Chinese report.

Similarly, the Xinhua report focussed on the boundary dispute, claiming that the senior officials had agreed to “push forward talks” so as “to joint safeguard peace and tranquillity in their border areas”.

The only mention of the boundary dispute in the public statement by India was the announcement that the next round of special representative talks on the boundary question will be in India next year.