During her visit to Beijing Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh has just concluded the sixth round of the annual strategic dialogue with her Chinese opposite number, Vice Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin, and also had a meeting with the host country’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Even though the relationship between Asia’s two largest powers remains complex, complicated and not without tension, a few gains made during the latest talks deserve a welcome.
In the first place, China feels reassured that irrespective of the outcome of the ongoing Indian elections there would be “continuity” in India-China ties. Ms Singh conveyed to the Chinese leadership that there was a “broad consensus” across the political spectrum in this country on “engagement” with China, a situation that dates back to the path-breaking visit to Beijing of the then Prime Minister, Rajiv Gandhi, in December 1988. For his part, Mr Liu declared that he was “confident that to promote China-India friendship is a shared interest of all Indian political parties”. Secondly, the two sides did not merely indulge in comforting rhetoric but also did the ground work for “a series of high-level engagements set to take place” in the coming year. [Source]