After the meeting between External Affairs minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi over the bilateral ties, the MEA held a press conference and told reporters that the talks between the two leaders were productive, useful and substantial. MEA spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin while briefing media on the Indo-Sino talks told reporters that all issues of significance were raised and discussed in a frank and cordial manner during the meeting, however he stop short of telling the issues raised by both sides.
Saying that China will support development of India, Akbaruddin told reporters that China is ready to engage with the newly formed government of India. “Discussion included possibilities of bilateral, multilateral level meetings between India-China during the course of the year,” he told, adding that, “EAM talked about increasing Chinese investments in India. Foreign Minister Wang also said that economic development is supported by China.” Both leaders felt that there was untapped potential for growth of economic ties, the MEA spokesperson said.
It was the first contact between the two neighbouring countries after the formation of the new Indian government and the MEA spokesperson informed the media that the Chinese Foreign Minister said the new government of India injected renewed vitality into relations between two countries. “As the Chinese saying goes ‘a journey of 1000 miles begins with one step’ and that step was taken today, Akbaruddin said.
According to the MEA, the issues of Mansarovar yatra were also discussed during the talks. The Chinese delegation led by Wang will now hold talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is also expected to call on President Pranab Mukherjee and meet the new National Security Advisor Ajit Doval during its two-day visit to India.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei told media briefing that Wang, during his visit, will also meet leading Indian officials and will have in-depth exchanges on how to push forward bilateral relations.
Despite his hardline nationalist reputation, PM Narendra Modi has been making overtures to traditional rivals China and Pakistan since his Bharatiya Janata Party swept to power last month. Modi has invited Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit later this year.
With India and China targeting annual bilateral trade of $100 billion by 2015, experts have been urging Modi to bridge the deficit by seeking greater access to the Chinese market.
The two nuclear-armed nations whose relations with each other are still dogged by mutual suspicion, are now set to focus on economic ties. Modi, in one of his election rally earlier this year had warned China to shed its “expansionist mindset”, while China had then hit back, saying it “never waged a war of aggression to occupy any inch of land of other countries”.