In a sign of renewed momentum in bilateral ties, four Indian Navy ships will be docking in Shanghai next week on a goodwill visit, a key step to building trust in the maritime domain as India and China Thursday decided to fastrack crucial dialogues on Central Asia, West Asia and Africa.
A day after Indian External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna met Chinese Vice Premier Li Xeqiang to take a big picture view of the bilateral relationship, he met his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi and held wide-ranging talks on the sidelines of the six-nation Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in the Chinese capital.
Krishna also briefly met Chinese President Hu Jintao in the Great Hall of the People after the banquet hosted for the leaders of the SCO countries.
The two ministers discussed a swathe of bilateral issues, including the contours of the maritime dialogue and intensification of economic and trade ties.
The visit by Indian ships to China signals a keen desire on part of the two rising Asian powers to build greater trust in the maritime domain, which is widely seen as a potential source of friction amid China’s assertiveness in South China Sea.
The meeting between the two ministers lasted for around an hour and was marked by warmth and mutual desire to take this crucial relationship to new heights, Indian officials said.
The meeting underscored strong political will on both sides to nurture and sustain this relationship despite occasional differences over some issues.
The differences between India and China are minor and that will not disturb the entire relationship, Yang told Krishna.
China will push forward developmental aspirations of India and will handle sensitive issues very carefully keeping in mind the positive growth and economic relations between the two countries, said Yang.
Krishna also took up the issue of Indian traders embroiled in a dispute with locals in the eastern Chinese commodity hub of Yiwu.
The Chinese minister conveyed that while the case was sub-judice, he will try to see if the process can be fast-tracked.
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