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EAM’s Press Statement following Meeting with Foreign Minister of China (April 22, 2018)

April 22, 2018

I am happy to be in Beijing. I am visiting China to not only participate in the SCO Foreign Ministers Meeting, but also to have a substantial bilateral interaction with State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi, following our last meeting in New Delhi in December 2017.

My meeting with Foreign Minister Wang Yi today is part of the regular high level engagements between India and China. In our meeting, we reviewed various aspects of bilateral relations and discussed regional and international issues of common interest.

As Foreign Minister Wang Yi just mentioned, Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi will visit China on 27 & 28 April for an informal Summit with President of the People’s Republic of China, Mr. Xi Jinping in the city of Wuhan.

My discussion with Foreign Minister Wang Yi today was to prepare for this Informal Summit between our leaders. It will be an important occasion for them to exchange views on bilateral and international matters from an over-arching and long-term perspective with the objective of enhancing mutual communication at the level of leaders.

The meeting in Wuhan flows from the understanding reached by the two leaders last year that India-China relations are a factor for stability in a period of global changes, and have a common responsibility for peace, security and prosperity in the world. Both leaders will also discuss their respective national developmental priorities and explore the future direction of the multifaceted engagement between the two countries with a view to strengthen their Closer Developmental Partnership.

As part of preparatory discussions for the Informal Summit, Foreign Minister Wang Yi and I note with satisfaction the progress made in our bilateral relations since we last met in December 2017. In particular, we are pleased with the headway made by our various dialogue mechanisms in diverse areas, which has helped in setting a positive tone for the upcoming Summit. The progress made in the last few months has also contributed to building trust and understanding in our bilateral engagement. We have agreed to maintain the momentum of these exchanges.

We also discussed the importance of strengthening people-to- people contacts in bringing our two countries closer to each other. In this context, I conveyed our appreciation to the Chinese side for their confirmation on resumption of data sharing on Brahmaputra and Sutlej rivers in 2018, as this issue has direct relevance for people living in those areas. We are also happy that the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra through the Nathu La route will be resumed this year. I am confident that with Chinese side’s full cooperation, this year’s Yatra will be a fulfilling experience for the visiting Indian pilgrims.

We agreed that as two major countries and large emerging economies, healthy development of India-China relations is important for the emergence of Asian Century. We believe that our commonalities outweigh our differences and that we must build on our convergences, while seeking mutually acceptable resolution of our differences.

While making efforts to progress our relations in diverse areas, we underlined that maintaining peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas is an essential pre-requisite for the smooth development of bilateral relations.

We also used this opportunity to exchange views on cooperation in multilateral arena. We discussed our perspectives on counter-terrorism and collaborative efforts to address other global challenges, such as climate change, sustainable development, global healthcare etc.

I conveyed my warm wishes to Foreign Minister Wang Yi for the success of SCO Foreign Ministers Meeting on April 24. I also conveyed India’s full support to China for a successful organization of SCO Summit in Qingdao and for other engagements which the Chinese side will be coordinating as the SCO chair this year.

Thank you.

(Disclaimer: EAM’s Speech was delivered in Hindi. This is an approximate translation of Speech)

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