External Affairs Minister (EAM) S Jaishankar met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing on Monday after meeting Chinese Vice-President Wang Qishan. EAM Jaishankar is on a three-day visit to China to co-chair the second meeting of the India-China 'High-Level Mechanism' on cultural and people-to-people exchange. Jaishankar arrived in Beijing on Sunday.
Speaking after his meeting with Jaishankar, Wang said both sides need to strengthen our cooperation mechanisms including more defence exchanges for more practical results.
"We need to abide by the UN Charter, respect sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries and address disputes through dialogue. We'll continue to utilise the special representative mechanism over the boundary question to seek early harvest in boundary negotiation," China's foreign minister said.
EAM Jaishankar said, "some suggestions were made by the Chinese side to expand the Kailash Mansarovar Yatra, we are deeply appreciative of those initiatives".
He is in China to set the grounds for an informal summit between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
This is EAM Jaishankar's first visit to China after assuming office. During his visit from August 11 to 13, Jaishankar will co-chair the second HLM meeting with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi to prepare the ground for the second informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
"The HLM reflects the desire on both sides to build greater synergies in the people-to-people ties between the two countries through enhanced exchanges in areas such as tourism, art, films, media, culture and sports," a statement from the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) earlier said.
The decision to establish the HLM was taken during the maiden informal summit between Modi and Xi in Wuhan in April last year. The inaugural HLM meeting was held on December 21 last year in New Delhi.
The meeting comes just a few days after Beijing objected to India’s “unilateral actions in Kashmir which it said will “complicate” matters.
Pakistan in its bid to ratchet up the Kashmir matter internationally rushed its Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi to Beijing ahead of Jaishankar’s visit to the Chinese capital.
Although China did say it stands with its all-weather ally Pakistan on the matter, it called upon the two nations to resolve the matter bilaterally. Analysts appear to not be reading much into Beijing’s statement however, a reference to Ladakh as if in the Chinese territory in the Chinese statement did raise some eyebrows.
Along the Line of Actual Control (LAC), both China and India claim pockets of territories on either side. "We call on Pakistan and India to resolve disputes through dialogue and negotiation and jointly uphold regional peace and stability," was the Chinese statement.
A day after the central government revoked Article 370 in Jammu and Kashmir by way of a Presidential order and moved legislation in Parliament to divide the state into two Union Territories, China reacted by voicing concern. It alleged that India was modifying its domestic laws to undermine China's territorial sovereignty.