Foreign Secretary S Jaishankar on Tuesday held talks China’s top diplomat Yang Jiechi during which they expressed strong commitment to develop positive relations despite differences over Beijing’s reluctance to support India’s NSG bid as well as a UN ban on JeM chief Masood Azhar.
Jaishankar, who arrived here from Sri Lanka, met Yang, who is the State Councillor and Beijing’s Special Representative for border talks between India and China.
In Chinese official hierarchy, State Councillor of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) is regarded as the top diplomat functioning directly under the country’s leadership.
Welcoming Jaishankar at Zhongnanhai, the seat of power of Chinese leadership, Yang said despite differences, relations between the two sides had a positive growth last year.
Yang praised Jaishankar’s contribution to the bilateral ties as Indian ambassador to China and said the two countries had good communication at many levels and continued good cooperation in the fields of economy, trade culture and people-to-people exchanges.
Jaishankar is expected to meet Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, besides attending an upgraded strategic dialogue with China’s Executive Vice Foreign Minister Zhang Yesui tomorrow.
Underlining the significance of the strategic dialogue, which was upgraded during Wang’s visit to New Delhi last year, China has deputed Zhang, also the head of the influential CPC committee of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, for the parleys.
“We truly hope that in the year ahead our two countries can enhance our exchanges and mutually beneficial cooperation so that we can jointly contribute more to peace and stability and development of our region and the world at large,” Yang said, recalling President Pranab Mukherjee’s visit last year.
On his part, Jaishankar said, “it’s very good to be back (to Beijing). I come with nostalgia and very good feelings and also a very strong sense of commitment to maintain the relationship”.
Referring to the first Strategic Dialogue which he will hold with Zhang tomorrow, Jaishankar said, “this is not just a meeting between me and my counterpart, it is preceded by consultations” on a host of issues.
Jaishankar’s talks with Yang and later in the Strategic Dialogue were expected to cover the key India-China differences like China blocking India’s bid to join the 48-member Nuclear Suppliers Group and UN ban on Azhar and the USD 46 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).