China foreign minister in India talks
China's foreign minister held talks in India on Thursday that focused on an upcoming summit of major emerging economies and issues affecting often troubled ties.
Yang Jeichi, who arrived in New Delhi late Wednesday, kicked off his brief official visit with a round of discussions with his Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna.
The talks would focus on preparations for a summit of the so-called BRICS nations — Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa — in New Delhi at the end of March, said foreign ministry spokesman Syed Akbaruddin.
Brazil, India and South Africa have been lobbying to turn their growing economic clout into greater diplomatic influence by securing permanent seats on the UN Security Council.
Akbaruddin said the talks would also touch on “all issues” in China-India relations, but added that no meeting was scheduled between Yang and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.
Ties between the neighbours have never been easy and a border dispute which triggered a brief but bloody war in 1962 remains a source of tension and deep mistrust.
Fifteen rounds of talks on the border issue have yielded no progress and India fears China is becoming more assertive about its territorial claims.
China claims the northeastern Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh as its territory and criticised a recent visit there by Indian Defence Minister A.K. Antony as provocative.
Krishna had retorted that India “will not tolerate external interference of China into Indian territorial affairs”.
There are also tensions outside their common borders, especially in resource-rich areas such as the South China Sea, where both countries are engaged in energy exploration to fuel their growing economies.
Another irritant for China is the presence of Tibet’s exiled spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama, who has lived in India since fleeing a failed uprising against Chinese rule in 1959.