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As S Jaishankar departs for China, New Delhi calls Beijing ‘very important partner’

External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar’s visit comes shortly after Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi went on an emergency visit to China.

As S Jaishankar departs for China, New Delhi calls Beijing ‘very important partner’
File Photo

New Delhi: With focus on the second informal summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping, External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar will meet Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi on Monday. Jaishankar, who is on a pre-scheduled visit to Beijing from August 11 to 13, left for China on Sunday.

Ahead of the visit, India called China an important partner. Raveesh Kumar, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, said, "China is a very important partner. There are many channels available to us to discuss all bilateral issues"

"It is expected bilateral issues will come up for discussion. We will discuss the informal summit. We will also discuss how to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties."

Prime Minister Modi met the Chinese President in Kyrgyzstan earlier this year on the sidelines of Shanghai cooperation summit and in 2018, both met each other four times starting with the famous informal summit in Wuhan in April.

The External Affairs Minister will co-chair the second meeting of the India-China High-Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges (HLM) along with his counterpart. The HLM aims to increase people-to-people ties and enhance engagement in areas such as tourism, art, films, media, culture, sports.

"The 2nd HLM meeting will provide an opportunity to follow up on the outcomes of the 1st HLM meeting and discuss new initiatives for enhancing people-to-people exchanges between our two countries", MEA in a statement said.

The HLC was one of the key outcomes of the Wuhan informal meet and the first meet happened in Delhi in 2018 between Wang Yi and former external affairs minister S Jaishankar.

PAKISTAN SHADOW ON THE VISIT

Jaishankar’s visit comes even as Pakistani foreign minister SM Qureshi went on an emergency visit to China to meet the Chinese FM in the backdrop of India's internal decision to change the special status for the erstwhile state of Jammu and Kashmir.

Pakistani FM met Chinese FM on Friday and in a release, the Chinese foreign ministry said, "Pakistan and India are both China’s friendly neighbours and major developing countries that are in a crucial stage of development", and called on the "two sides to proceed from their national development and peace in South Asia."

China has reacted negatively to New Delhi's decision on Jammu and Kashmir evoking a strong reaction New Delhi who said, "India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and similarly expects other countries to do likewise".