It's official: Wen-Singh meet in Thailand

It's official: Wen-Singh meet in Thailand

It's official: Wen-Singh meet in Thailand

China’s Ambassador to India Zhang Yan told journalists in New Delhi that the leaders of the two neighbours were committed to advance the ties in a “cooperative and mutually beneficial” manner.

Chinese assistant foreign minister Hu Zhengyue too said in Beijing that the two countries had made good progress in strengthening bilateral relationship. The positive messages from Beijing came after the latest round of its sabre-rattling with New Delhi over the Sino-Indian boundary dispute, particularly the contentious issue of Arunachal Pradesh.

They are also apparently timed to set the ambience for the meeting between Singh and Wen at Hua Hin, possibly sometime during the weekend. Singh will leave for the Thai city on Friday for a three-day-tour to attend the 7th India-ASEAN summit and 4th East-Asia summit. Wen will also be there for the 12th ASEAN-China summit as well as the East Asia summit.

Officials of the Ministry of External Affairs on Wednesday stated that the prime minister would have bilateral meetings with the leaders of several other countries on the sidelines of the summits.

They, however, declined to specifically mention about the meeting between Singh and Wen. But Beijing confirmed that the two leaders would meet in Hua Hin. The Chinese assistant foreign minister termed the meeting as a “very important one”.

“Our relationship is on a very good term and our leaders and officers as well as the Chinese embassy here are all committed to advance our relationship in a cooperative and mutually beneficial way,” said Ambassador Zhang.

Wen himself had told petroleum minister Murli Deora at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation meet in China that he would like to meet Singh during the East Asia summit in Thailand.

India had hit back and protested Chinese plans to involve projects in PoK, but had also accepted Beijing’s offer for a bilateral meet. “In any bilateral meet, the leaders can discuss any issue related to the relation between them,” N Ravi, the Secretary (East) of the MEA said.