National Security Advisor Ajit Doval Friday met his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi here to discuss measures to improve bilateral ties strained by differences over a host of issues, including Beijing blocking India’s NSG bid and a UN ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar. The meeting at the Taj Falaknuma Palace comes two days after Chinese and Indian troops were locked in a stand-off at the icy heights of Ladakh division after People’s Liberation Army (PLA) personnel entered an area where an irrigation canal was being built under the MNREGA scheme and stopped civilian work.
Both sides decided to hold this meeting days before the incident in Demchok sector, located 250 km east of Leh, where the work for linking a village with ‘Hot Spring’ was being undertaken under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act (MNREGA).
There was no official word on the meeting. Doval and Yang who are the designated Special Representatives of the India-China boundary talks, also periodically meet to discuss the whole gamut of the Sino-Indian relations.
Besides blocking India’s admission into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), China had put a second technical hold on India’s move to bring about a UN ban on Jaish-e-Mohmmed chief Azhar. Also India has been protesting over the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which is being laid through the Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK).
While India is concerned over the Pakistan factor creeping into India-China relations making the bilateral ties more complex, China too is airing its apprehensions over the movement to boycott Chinese goods in India as well the visit of US Ambassador to New Delhi, Richard Verma, to Arunachal Pradesh, which it considers as Southern Tibet and India’s permission to the Dalai Lama to visit the area.
Chinese officials say Beijing is apprehensive about India moving closer to US and Japan broadening its strategic and defence ties with both the countries.