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  India   All India  13 Mar 2018  Sitharaman to visit China as ties set to ease

Sitharaman to visit China as ties set to ease

THE ASIAN AGE.
Published : Mar 13, 2018, 12:59 am IST
Updated : Mar 13, 2018, 12:59 am IST

In that backdrop, the India defence minister’s visit is expected to be a further step up in the effort to improve ties.

Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman  (Photo: ANI | Twitter)
 Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman (Photo: ANI | Twitter)

New Delhi: In an overture that is expected to signal a thaw in the icy India-China bilateral ties, especially during and after the Doklam standoff, defence minister Nirmala Sitharaman has said she will go to China on an official visit next month.

“Yes, (the China visit is) probably sometime in late April,” the minister told reporters during an industry event.

There have been indications of late that both the Asian giants had put their mind to try and improve relations.

The effort may have been kick-started by Indian foreign secretary Vijay Gokhale’s recent visit to Beijing which was followed by an official directive by the government to top officials and leaders not to attend at functions planned by the Tibetan government-in-exile in India to mark the 60th anniversary of the Dalai Lama’s getaway to India. The venue of the function was then shifted away from the national capital.

Of late, China’s state-run media has also been making the right sounds to possibly facilitate the effort to improve ties.

On Monday, Chinese foreign ministry spokesperson Lu Kang said in a press conference in Beijing: “We stand ready to work with the Indian side, under the guidance of the important consensus reached by our leaders, to enhance political mutual trust, promote mutually beneficial cooperation, properly handle differences so as to ensure China-India relations moves forward steadily along the right track”. The spokesperson also noted in a positive light the recent comment of his Indian counterpart expressing willingness to work with the Chinese side to develop bilateral relations based on commonalities, while dealing with differences on the basis of mutual respect and sensitivity to each other’s interests, concerns and aspirations.

Mr Lu said: “We have noted these positive remarks made by the Indian side. You may also note that Foreign Minister Wang Yi at his press conference on March 8, talked about China’s perspective on China-India ties as well as its basic stance on developing China-India relations.”

Notwithstanding the disengagement of troops facing each other in Doklam, a trijunction near India’s Sikkim, Bhutan and China, the belligerence had not been done away with entirely as charges and counter-charges between the two countries had been flying thick.

In that backdrop, the India defence minister’s visit is expected to be a further step up in the effort to improve ties.

Tags: doklam standoff, nirmala sitharaman