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National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and his Chinese counterpart, Yang Jiechi, failed to make a breakthrough on the two pressing issues — India’s membership in the Nuclear Suppliers’ Group and the listing of Jaish-e-Mohammad chief Masood Azhar by the UN as a global terrorist. Doval hosted Yang for talks in Hyderabad on Friday, and this was the senior Chinese official’s third visit to India within two months.
The Ministry of External Affairs on Saturday said that 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 the international community”.
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”.
Although the Indian statement talked about “growing convergence”, the optimism was not reflected in the outcome, especially since China has put a hold on the UN listing of Azhar as a global terrorist.
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 to work on the new mechanism on counter-terrorism. MEA’s also said that the consultations had helped “enhance mutual understanding and will contribute to greater mutual trust” and that more such talks will be held in the future.
The statements from New Delhi and Beijing reflected the difference in their assessment of the interaction. While the Indian statement 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”. India said that the next round of special representative talks on the boundary question will be in India next year.