Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi. (Photo Credit: IANS)
Chinese Foreign Minister and State Councillor Wang Yi will visit India later this month to hold boundary talks and review implementation of key decisions taken at the second informal meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping, diplomatic sources told PTI on Wednesday.
India’s key concerns relating to the China-backed Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is also likely to figure prominently in Wang’s talks with External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, they said.
The Chinese leader is expected to impress upon India to review its decision to pull out of the RCEP and may offer to address its concerns over the proposed trade pact which could become the world’s biggest free trade deal.
It will be first high-level visit from China after the Modi-Xi informal meet in October as well as after India pulled out of the RCEP following a meeting of the group’s leadership in Bangkok recently.
“The agenda of Wang’s visit will be exhaustive,” said a highly-placed source, adding the dates of the trip will be announced shortly.
Sources said Wang is primarily visiting India to hold boundary talks with National Security Advisor Ajit Doval. However, he and Jaishankar will engage in detailed deliberations on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interests.
Doval and Wang are the designated Special Representatives (SRs) of the two countries for the boundary talks.
Sources said the two sides are likely to review implementation of decisions taken at the second informal summit.
They said India’s core concerns over the RCEP is likely to be discussed during the meeting between Jaishankar and Wang as a number of countries of the grouping were ramping up efforts to bring New Delhi back to the trade bloc.
After years of negotiations, India last month pulled out of the proposed RCEP over unresolved “core concerns” at a summit of the participating countries, saying the proposed pact in its current form would have adverse impact on lives and livelihoods of all Indians.
During their talks, Wang and Jaishankar will also review implementation of decisions taken at the Modi-Xi summit, sources said.
The significant outcome of the second informal summit included setting up of a new high-level mechanism to boost trade and investment, enhance defence and security cooperation and work on additional confidence building measures.
Wang was to visit India for the SR talks in September but the trip was postponed then.
The two sides have already held over 20 rounds of talks under the framework of SR dialogue which was set up to find an early solution to the border dispute.
The India-China border dispute covers 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of southern Tibet while India contests it.
Both sides have been asserting that pending the final resolution of the boundary issue, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquillity in the border areas.