India has made it clear that merely a cartographic depiction does not change the facts on the ground. During bilateral talks between the two countries, India said its position “on the areas that have been shown as part of the map is well known”.
Addressing the Indian media after the bilateral talks between Vice-President Hamid Ansari and Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh said: “On the boundary issue, the Vice-President and the Premier agreed that maintenance of peace and tranquility on the India-China border is most important for the relationship to prosper and flower.”
She did not elaborate further on the discussion between the two countries but when asked about the dispute on map, she said: “A cartographic depiction does not change the facts on the ground. Our position on the areas that have been shown as part of the map is well known.”
India has also shown concern over the proposal to build rail link between China and Pakistan. Sujatha Singh said: “These are issues of concern that we raise in our interactions with Chinese interlocutors. There have been a series of high-level exchanges and our relationship has reached a degree of maturity. We raise our issues, they raise their issues. Further, I don’t want to go into details.”
The foreign secretary said Ansari and the Chinese Premier also discussed the issues of “expanding bilateral trade and investment, including the establishment of Chinese industrial parks in India”.
During the discussion, Li asked India to identify the products that could be sold competitively in Chinese markets. Refusing to divulge further details, Singh said both countries had discussed the issues in broad terms, and suggested to wait till the MoU was signed and detailed talks were held.
She said Chinese investment was required to match India’s target to attract foreign direct investment (FDI). “We think in some sectors the Chinese investment will be more useful. FDI is invited for some reasons. We invite FDI to strengthen technologies and for the manufacturing sector. We want that Chinese investments should come with these advantages,” said Singh. Industrial parks are proposed to attract Chinese investment in manufacturing sector since the country has a proven track record in the sector.
Referring that trade deficit between the two countries is imbalanced, the foreign secretary said both sides agreed that such a trade deficit was not sustainable. “If we want trade and investment to grow between the two countries, we need to work to reduce the trade deficit. There are certain specific products on which we have asked China to consider opening up its market,” she said.
The talks between the two countries on trade-related issues will continue as continued…