December 29, 2010 12:50:22 pm
India and China engaged in intense diplomatic activities on issues like stapled visas to Kashmiris and trade imbalance in 2010,a year which culminated with a fence-mending visit of Premier Wen Jiabao to New Delhi.
It was perhaps an unusual year in bilateral ties as Tibet and Taiwan,which get mandatory mention in every international document signed by China,failed to figure in the joint statement issued after Wen’s high-profile visit to India from December 15 to 17,during which he promised to address New Delhi’s concerns on stapled visas
In India,Wen also offered to open the tightly-controlled Chinese markets to India’s prime products like IT and pharmaceuticals to address New Delhi’s concerns on the growing trade deficit of nearly USD 16 billion. India and China have agreed to expand bilateral trade to a record high of USD 100 billion by 2015 from this year’s target of USD 60 billion.
India sees solution to the stapled visa issue,the biggest irritant in bilateral ties this year,and the boundary problem as key to close ties with China as Beijing of late has been highlighting that the dispute is confined to only 2000 km — in Arunachal Pradesh sector which China claims as Southern Tibet — while remaining conspicuously silent on the 1600 km in the western sector bordering Jammu and Kashmir.
The issue was reportedly discussed in the 14th round of border talks here between National Security Adviser Shivshankar Menon and China’s top diplomat Dai Bingguo last month.
Chinese officials for their part categorised the stapled visas to Kashmiris as a “technical issue” more than a diplomatic issue and promised to address it in coming months.
The two countries,however,were yet to resume defence exchanges halted by India after denial of visa by China to top Indian army General B S Jaswal on the ground that he headed troops in Jammu and Kashmir,which Beijing regards as a disputed territory.
2010 was also the most colourful year in Sino-India ties as the two countries held a record number of cultural events to celebrate the 60th year of establishment of their diplomatic relations and promote people-to-people ties. “We had President Pratibha Patil’s visit (here),besides visits by a large number of ministers this year which is ending with the festival of India as a fitting culmination,” said Indian Ambassador to China,S Jaishankar.
“Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to India was a productive and forward looking one. Both sides showed a constructive attitude and the chemistry between the Premier and our Prime Minister was strong. The visit was characterised by mutual respect and sensitivity for each other’s concerns and aspirations,” he said.
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