On the third day of his visit to China, President Pranab Mukherjee is set to meet top Chinese leaders including President Xi Jinping, Premier Le Keqiang in Beijing. A number of contentious issues including the boundary issue may also feature in the talks.
In fact, the President mentioned the boundary issue during his address at the Peking University on Thursday morning. The President called for a “political acumen” and “civilizational wisdom” to resolve the challenges between India and China.
“One of the ways it could be done is through enhanced political communication. In India, we have a bipartisan commitment to strengthening our partnership with China. The frequent contacts between our respective leaders bears testimony to this….We have broadened the ‘common ground’ and learnt to manage our differences. There are challenges – including the boundary question – that still need to be addressed comprehensively,” the President said.
“I consider it a test of our political acumen when we are called upon to draw upon our civilisational wisdom and resolve these differences to the mutual satisfaction of both sides,” he added.
Earlier, ahead of his visit, Mukherjee told the Chinese state-run television that India seeks, “…a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable settlement of the boundary question and, pending the boundary settlement, to maintain peace and tranquillity in border areas. Both sides should strive to ensure that outstanding issues are addressed in a manner that demonstrates mutual sensitivity to each other’s concerns, interests and aspirations.”
In his talks with President Xi, Mukherjee is also likely to raise the issue of China blocking India’s bid to get a UN ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed chief Masood Azhar.
“India and China–both huge countries, multi-cultural, multi-racial–if they come together in fighting this menace, I am sure it will have its own impact…And India always believes that every country should have a zero-tolerance policy towards terrorism and the fight is to be all out,” Mukherjee told Chinese state run CCTV.
The comments came against the backdrop of India being extremely upset with Beijing blocking India’s bid to put Azhar on the UN list of proscribed terrorists.
Reports say China’s insistence on India signing the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) to get membership of the elite Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), is also likely to come up in the talks.
On Thursday morning, the President met Yuan Guiren, Minister of Education of China and Li Yuanchao, the Vice President of China.
At Peking University, the President also attended a Round Table of VCs & heads of higher education institutions of India & China. 10 MOUs were signed between institutions of higher learning of India & China.
(With inputs from PTI)