India plays down travel advisory, says no contentious issues with China
Kunming: Amid a row over a Chinese travel advisory, India's External Affairs Minister S M Krishna on Tuesday said there were no contentious issues between India and China besides the decades-old boundary dispute.
"Apart from the boundary issue, there aren't any contentious issues. I have always held this view consistently," Krishna said here a day before he holds talks with China's Vice-Premier Li Keqiang in Beijing.
"We are hopeful we will be in a position to find a mutually acceptable resolution to the boundary question," he said. He was responding to a question, during a stopover, on whether contentious issues will be discussed with Li.
"It's a time-consuming process. Resolving the boundary issue takes time. Borders must be peaceful," he stressed.
Krishna will hold his first meeting with Li on Wednesday and discuss a wide range of bilateral issues, including progress in implementing key trust-building steps like maritime dialogue and the border mechanism. The meeting with Li is part of India's diplomatic outreach to forge equations with the next generation of Chinese leadership that will take charge after the planned succession later this year.
Li is widely expected to succeed Wen Jiabao as China's premier and Xi Jinping is set to replace Hu Jinatao as China's next president at the once-in-decade party congress.
Krishna's remarks underlined India's desire to keep the prickly relations with China on an even keel amid a controversy generated by a Chinese travel advisory in the wake of the nation-wide protests in India against petroleum price hike last week.
The advisory asks Chinese citizens who are travelling to India or are in India to be careful of any disruptions and disturbances. The advisory came as a surprise to India's foreign office as the reason for the advisory appeared exaggerated.
There are some who have tried to link the Chinese advisory as a tit-for-tat for Indian advisories asking Indian traders to avoid doing business in Yiwu, the Chinese commodity hub. However, both India and China denied any linkage and sought to play down the differences.