BENAULIM (GOA): Amid the continuing stalemate in Ladakh, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang underlined the need to walk on the path of peaceful coexistence as he held bilateral talks with his Indian counterpart S. Jaishankar in a resort in southern Goa to resolve outstanding issues that stalk bilateral ties.
The foreign ministers of India and China held their second bilateral meeting this year on May 4 and focused on rejuvenating bilateral ties that have languished since the summer of 2020 when Chinese troops entered Ladakh in large numbers, which disturbed the status quo along the Line of Actual Control. The talks took place in a beach resort in Benaulim on the sidelines of a meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.
“A detailed discussion with State Councillor and FM Qin Gang of China on our bilateral relationship. Focus remains on resolving outstanding issues and ensuring peace and tranquillity in the border areas,” Mr Jaishankar tweeted after the talks. The two foreign ministers also discussed sustaining their cooperation and coordination in multilateral forums such as SCO, G20 and BRICS.
The talks did not see any breakthrough or big-ticket announcement signalling de-frosting of ties, but officials familiar with the talks said that the atmospherics were warm and positive.
Earlier, soon after touching down in Panaji, the capital of Goa, the Chinese foreign minister spoke at a low-key function organised in honour of Dr Dwarkanath Kotnis, one of the five Indian physicians dispatched to China to provide medical assistance during the Second Sino-Japanese War in 1938.
Lauding Dr Kotnis as “an icon of India-China friendship,” Mr Qin advocated strengthening of people-to-people ties and cultural relations. “We need to carry forward India-China friendship and follow the spirit of Dr Kotnis,” he said. “Youth will be the main driver of India-China friendship,” he said while calling for enhancing exchanges between young people of India and China.
Taking a big-picture view, Mr Qin stressed on the imperative to find a path for peaceful coexistence in navigating the challenging terrain of India-China relations. “We live in a world fraught with challenges and turbulence. China-India relations face unprecedented challenges as well as opportunities. We need to find a path for peaceful coexistence and shared prosperity.”
Last week, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh told his Chinese counterpart Li Shangfu on the sidelines of the SCO foreign ministers’ meeting in New Delhi that that China’s violation of existing border agreements “eroded” the entire basis of ties between the two countries and that all issues relating to the frontier must be resolved in accordance with the existing pacts.
- Manish Chand is Founder-CEO and Editor-in-Chief of India Writes Network (www.indiawrites.org) and India and World, a pioneering magazine focused on international affairs. He is CEO/Director of TGII Media Private Limited, an India-based media, publishing, research and consultancy company.
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