Indian Ambassador to China Pradeep Kumar Rawat has met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi ahead of Thursday’s virtual BRICS summit hosted by President Xi Jinping in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi is set to take part. This was Rawat’s first meeting with Wang after he took charge as India’s new envoy to Beijing in March.
The meeting, which took place on Wednesday, assumed significance as it came ahead of the 14th BRICS summit.
The meeting is also significant as it took place amidst the chill in bilateral ties over the two-year military standoff in eastern Ladakh.
As a result of military-level talks, the two sides completed the disengagement process last year on the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area. India has been consistently maintaining that peace and tranquillity along the Line of Actual Control (LAC) are key to the overall development of the bilateral ties.
On Rawat’s meeting with Wang, a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement quoted Wang as saying that China and India’s common interests far outweigh their differences, adding that the two sides should support rather than undermine each other, strengthen cooperation rather than guard against each other, and enhance mutual trust rather than be suspicious of each other.
The Chinese foreign minister said the two sides should meet each other halfway to push bilateral relations back onto the track of stable and healthy development at an early date, jointly address various global challenges, and safeguard the common interests of China and India as well as the vast number of developing countries.
He called on both sides to adhere to the important strategic consensus reached by the two countries’ leaders, insist on placing the border issue in a proper position within bilateral ties and seek solutions through dialogue and consultation.
China and India should also give full play to their traditional advantages in people-to-people and cultural exchanges, continuously expand mutually beneficial cooperation, and work together to create a better future for mankind, the state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Wang as saying.
China holds this year’s chair of the five-member bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.
On Wednesday, Xi and Modi along with other heads of the BRICS countries addressed the BRICS Business Forum.
Wang visited India in March during which he held talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval.