India, China ties should be a factor of stability in uncertain world: Jaishankar

NEW DELHI : External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar, who is on a three-day visit to China, on Monday said that India-China relations should be a factor of stability at a time when the world is facing an uncertain situation.

Jaishankar, whose visit comes in the aftermath of India’s decision to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir – to which China has raised objections – met his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing today.

In his opening remarks during the meeting with Wang, considered a confidant of President Xi Jinping, Jaishankar said, “We reached a consensus in Astana two years ago that at a time when the world is more uncertain, our relationship should be a factor of stability”.

“And I am very pleased today to come in the aftermath of the Wuhan summit where the consensus between our leaders on global and regional issues has expanded,” he said, referring to the summit meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi.

Jaishankar, who is the first Indian minister to tour China in the second term of the Narendra Modi government will also co-chair the second meeting of the High-Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges.

Sources toldthat if Beijing raises the J&K issue, the Indian side will be very categorical in its response that it is an internal matter. Jaishankar’s visit was scheduled before the government announced its decision on J&K.

Jaishankar’s visit comes days after Pakistan Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi travelled to Beijing, on August 9, to garner China’s support for Islamabad’s bid to take New Delhi’s decision to revoke J&K’s special status to the UN Security Council.

During his three-day visit, Jaishankar will hold talks with the Chinese leadership on a host of issues including finalisation of arrangements for President Xi’s visit to India later this year for the second informal summit with Prime Minister Modi. His visit was planned before India decided to bifurcate Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories -Jammu and Kashmir, and Ladakh.