Union External Affairs Minister Minister Sushma Swaraj left for Beijing this morning to take part in the meeting of the Foreign Ministers of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) to be held on 24th April. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will also be in China next week to take part in the SCO defence ministers’ meeting.
Sushma Swaraj is expected to meet her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi on Sunday. The two leaders will hold talks with an aim to take forward attempts by both countries to reset ties following last year’s Doklam standoff.
“We believe Swaraj’s visit will further enhance political trust between the two countries and elevate the China-India strategic cooperation partnership,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said earlier this week in a press briefing at Beijing.
The other issues of concern to India include the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, China blocking India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group as well as its opposition to efforts to list Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar as a global terrorist by the UN.
“We would like to work with the Indian side to maintain high-level exchanges, expand practical cooperation, properly manage disputes and move forward bilateral ties,” Hua had said.
The SCO meetings are a prelude to the summit of the eight-member group. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is expected to take part in the SCO summit to be held in June.
Meanwhile, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will visit China from April 23 to 25 to participate in a preparatory meeting related to upcoming summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO).
Sitharaman is likely to have bilateral meetings with a number of Chinese leaders during her stay.
Last week, National Security Advisor Ajit Doval had held talks with the top official of China’s ruling Communist Party Yang Jiechi in Shanghai during which both sides agreed to maintain the pace of high-level exchanges after last year’s Dokalam standoff.
Doval’s visit was “part of regular high-level engagements between India and China”, an Indian Embassy press release had said. Doval and Yang are Special Representatives for India-China boundary talks.
(With inputs from PTI)