Border standoff: India strikes conciliatory note

Border standoff: India strikes conciliatory note

Border standoff: India strikes conciliatory note
India struck a conciliatory note on the 42nd day of its miliary face-off with China near the Bhutan tri-junction border, stating that it wanted to strengthen its development partnership with Beijing.

External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj on Thursday told the Rajya Sabha that India would like to “strengthen” the “closer development partnership” that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping launched in September 2014.

She dismissed Congress MP T Subbarami Reddy's allegation that India was playing the role of a mute spectator to the atrocities committed on Tibetans by China.

“We have never been a mute spectator. Whenever India had differences with China, we have put forward our views,” Sushma said during the Question Hour.

Her remarks came on a day when National Security Advisor Ajit Doval was in Beijing to attend a meeting of the BRICS (a bloc comprising Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) High Representatives responsible for national security. Doval had a bilateral meeting with China's state councillor Yang Jiechi on the sideline of the BRICS meeting.

Doval and Yang are also Special Representatives of India and China, respectively, for negotiations to resolve the boundary dispute. During Xi's maiden visit to New Delhi in September 2014 had seen him and Modi agreeing to build a closer developmental partnership.

They had also agreed to make it “a core component” of India-China “strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity”.

Sushma on Thursday referred to the Xi-Modi agreement for closer development partnership in a written reply to a question by AIADMK Rajya Sabha member N Gokulakrishnan, who had asked if the Union government was aware that China had of late cancelled a proposed visit by journalists from India to the Tibet Autonomous Region.

“Both sides agree that stronger people to people relationship contributes to enhanced mutual trust and understanding and provides a durable foundation for the continuous development of the bilateral partnership,” said Sushma. “Vibrant and diversified exchanges in the field of media, including mutual visits of journalists, is an important component of the agreed template between India and China.
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