Singh-Wen meet: Key concerns discussed, but no breakthrough

Beijing gave no concrete endorsement on India`s bid for permanent membership of the UN Security Council.

New Delhi: Talks between Chinese Premier
Wen Jiabao and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh failed to yield
any breakthrough on Thursday on India`s key concerns - stapled visa
to people of Jammu and Kashmir and terrorism emanating from
Pakistan - and in getting support for its bid for a UNSC
permanent seat.

Wen, who is on a fence-mending mission after one year
of unease in bilateral ties, held talks with Singh for over
one hour during which bilateral, regional and global issues
were discussed.

Though the issue of stapled visa did not figure in the
joint communiqué, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao told
reporters after the talks that the Chinese Premier himself
raised the issue and suggested that officials from both the
countries should have in-depth consultations to resolve the

"Wen said China takes this issue very seriously and
takes our concern on this issue very seriously," Rao said but
noted that "The ball is in their court. There is no doubt
about that." China had also denied visa to Lt Gen BS Jaswal,
who is in-charge of Jammu and Kashmir prompting India to
suspend all defence exchanges with that country.

The Joint statement also did not make a reference to
26/11 and India`s demand for expediting punishment to all
those responsible for the Mumbai terror attacks.

However, it talked about the need to implement all
relevant UN resolutions, in particular UNSC resolution 1267,
1373, 1540 and 1624 dealing with among others curbing
financing of terrorism and banning of terror groups.

Rao said India conveyed its concern over terrorism
emanating from Pakistan. The need is very much there for China
to also look at the real concerns India has with regard to
terrorism emanating from Pakistan, she said, adding that the
terrorism in the region also affects China.

China also conveyed its understanding of the situation
in Pakistan, Rao said, but refused to elaborate.

The joint statement said the two sides also welcomed
the opening of the telephone hotline between Singh and Wen and
agreed on regular consultations between the two leaders on
issues of importance to both the countries.

The two leaders also agreed to establish the mechanism
of annual exchange of visits between the two Foreign
Ministers, it said.

On economic front, Rao said while both countries have
set a target of USD 100 billion by 2015, India has raised its
concern over the growing trade imbalance and has sought
greater access for its goods, including pharmaceuticals in
Chinese market.

"The two sides agreed to take measures to promote
greater Indian exports to China with a view to reduce India`s
trade deficit," the statement said.

Beijing gave no concrete endorsement on India`s bid
for permanent membership of the UN Security Council and merely
confined itself to vague formulation that it supports India`s
aspirations to play a greater role in the global body.