India Saturday raised the issue of Beijing’s decision to block Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) chief Masood Azhar’s banning by the UN as well as its opposition to India’s NSG membership bid with visiting Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi. Both sides agreed to have a meeting soon between their top disarmament officials to discuss the issue in detail.
External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, during their talks, also decided to put in place a new mechanism at the level of Foreign Secretaries to discuss various aspects of bilateral ties which have witnessed strain in the recent past.
Swaraj also conveyed to Wang, India’s concerns on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir during the three-hour-long discussion including over lunch.
They reviewed the situation on the border and discussed further steps to strengthen peace and tranquillity.
Earlier in the day, Wang also called on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and a number of issues were discussed during the 20-minute-long meeting.
“Lengthy discussion were held on India’s NSG membership. Swaraj outlined importance of meeting our clean energy goals in the context of COP-21. India offered to discuss any technical issues China may have. It was agreed that the DGs of Disarmament of the two countries would meet soon,” official sources said.
China had scuttled India’s bid for membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) at the plenary meeting of the 48-nation grouping in June on the grounds that it was not a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT), evoking a strong reaction from India.
India had said China was the only country that put a road block to its NSG membership.
Swaraj also raised the issue of China blocking India’s efforts to get JeM chief Azhar, mastermind of the Mumbai and Pathankot terror attacks, banned by the UN.
“China’s technical hold on listing of Masood Azhar in the UNSC 1267 Committee was also taken up. China was urged to revisit its technical hold in line with its own professed zero tolerance towards terrorism,” the sources said.
They said the situation on the border was also reviewed and further steps to strengthen peace and tranquillity were discussed.
“A new mechanism at the level of Foreign Secretaries agreed to discuss ties,” the sources said.
The sources said the issue of South China Sea was not brought up by China in the talks.
They said Swaraj and Wang focussed on bilateral issues, regional and global developments besides preparations for the BRICS summit which will be held in Goa in October.
In his call on with Modi, Wang briefed him on G20 Summit to be held in China in September.
“The Prime Minister conveyed his greetings to Chinese President Xi Jinping,” the sources said.
They said overall, the discussions between the two sides were held in a “positive, constructive and open spirit”, adding that the progress in bilateral ties was reviewed, as also “challenges on some recent issues”.
The sources said there was a positive assessment of expanding investments during the talks as well the need for more cooperation in the infrastructure sector was emphasised.
The two sides also talked about the need for easier visas, greater tourism and expanded cultural, academic and civil society interactions.
Regional and international issues including implications of Brexit, situation in the Korean Peninsula, UN Security Council and forthcoming summits of G20, East Asia and BRICS figured in the talks between Swaraj and Wang.
Wang had arrived in Goa yesterday on a three-day visit to India. He had met Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar and discussed about preparations for the BRICS summit. The Chinese Foreign Minister arrived here last night.