India, China to enhance cooperation between foreign ministries
Beijing: India and China on Thursday signed a new protocol to enhance cooperation between their foreign ministries while working on a mechanism to step up coordination for providing timely information to the media.
The protocol signed by External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi was essentially up gradation of a similar protocol signed in 2006 in which the two countries listed various new dialogue mechanisms taking place between them.
The new protocol lists the new dialogues that have come up between the two countries.
Separately, the two countries are discussing to work out a new coordination mechanism between spokespersons of the two foreign ministries to provide information to the media in a timely manner, Khurshid said.
A Chinese delegation headed by Director General of the Foreign Ministry's publicity wing Qing Gang will be travelling to New Delhi in the next few days to finalise the new mechanism.
In their wide ranging talks, the two ministers discussed a host of issues including addressing India's concerns over trade imbalance with China.
Khurshid said he appreciated courtesy extended to him by the Chinese Minister in coming and greeting him at his hotel before the two formally met for talks at a government guest house.
Both countries regard the forthcoming visit of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to India as very important.
"It is kind of signature event emphasising the importance China accords to Indian ties as it will be Li's first visit abroad. The two sides are looking at several agreements during the visit. The areas of convergence are clearly there. One important issue was the economic corridor connecting India, Myanmar and ASEAN countries," Khurshid said.
"China wants to step up investments in India to address growing trade imbalance between the two countries. They want to invest heavily in specified industrial hubs and spoke of liberalisation of visa regime. We see this as a pattern of their response to improve relations with India," he said.
As gesture of goodwill, China has permitted two Indian traders Shaymasunder Agrawal and Deepak Raheja who were held here for about two years on grounds of cheating Chinese traders in Yiwu city, to go home to join their families without pressing cases against them, Khurshid said.
Also, China said it would sympathetically look into the case of six diamond traders held in the country. The two sides also discussed Iran, Syria, ASEAN at considerable length, he said.
There is a sense of convergence on large number of things and tremendous understanding on issues, Khurshid said.