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SCO: Swaraj holds talks with Chinese counterpart

Sushma SwarajExternal Affairs Minister (EAM) Sushma Swaraj on Sunday held delegation-level talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit.

Swaraj, who departed for a two-nation visit to China and Mongolia on Saturday, on April 24 will participate in a ministerial-level meeting of the SCO, where India became a full member in 2017.

On a related note, Wang Yi on Wednesday dwelled upon the tripartite relationship between China, Nepal, and India at a press conference in Beijing after meeting with Nepali Foreign Minister Pradeep Kumar Gyawali.

In response to a reporter’s question on how to treat Nepal, vis-a-vis its relations with India, Wang Yi stressed upon three points.

“First, China, Nepal, and India are natural friends and partners because we are connected by mountains and rivers and are neighbors. No matter how the international situation and domestic agendas change, this basic fact will not change,” Chinese Foreign Affairs Ministry, quoted Wang Yi as saying, in a statement.

“Second, supporting Nepal’s development should become the consensus between China and India. China and India are representatives of fast-growing emerging economies and should make their own development more beneficial to neighboring countries including Nepal. Nepal wants to serve as a bridge between China and India,” the Chinese Foreign Minister added.

Wang Yi also threw light on the element of connectivity between the three countries.

“Third, build a three-dimensional interconnected network that spans the Himalayas. China and Nepal have reached a consensus on the building of the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’.

“Interconnectivity is one of the top priorities. The common goal of the three countries should be to strive for mutual development and prosperity,” Wang Yi said.

Swaraj’s visit to China comes in the backdrop of the efforts made by both India and China to move past the tensions which arose after last year’s Doklam standoff.

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