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Wang to visit India next week; hold talks with Indian officials

Thursday, December 07, 2017
By K J M Varma

Beijing: Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend the Russia-India-China (RIC) foreign ministers' trilateral meeting next week in New Delhi where he will also hold talks with top Indian officials, the first high-level dialogue after President Xi Jinping commenced his second term.

Wang will take part in the RIC Foreign Ministers' meeting on December 11, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media briefing here today.

During the RIC meeting, the three ministers will exchange views on major international and regional issues of common concern and deepen trilateral pragmatic cooperation, he said.

"We believe under the joint efforts of the three parties, this meeting will achieve expected outcomes," he said.

Media reports previously said the RIC meeting was planned for April this year but Wang did not confirm dates in the backdrop of China's protests over the Dalai Lama visiting Arunachal Pradesh in the same month. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet.

On the sidelines of the RIC Foreign Ministers' meeting, Wang will hold talks with top Indian officials, Geng said."According to our information, Wang will meet with the top officials of India and detailed information will be released in due course," Geng said.

Wang's visit is regarded significant as it is first by a top Chinese official to India after the Doklam standoff which strained ties between the two neighbours.

The 73-day-long Dokalam standoff ended on August 28 after Chinese troops stopped building a key road close to India's Chicken Neck corridor. India had objected to the construction highlighting its security concerns. The road was being built by the Chinese troops in the area also claimed by Bhutan.

Wang's visit to New Delhi is expected to be followed by China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi later this month to attend the 20th round of China-India boundary talks.

Yang and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval are the designated Special Representatives for the border talks later this month. Both the officials are also mandated to discuss the state of entire gamut of bilateral ties.

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