Sushma in China from Saturday, hold talks with Wang Yi

By Gaurav Sharma

Beijing, April 17 (IANS) India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj will hold bilateral talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi during her two-day China visit beginning on Saturday.

Sushma Swaraj will meet Wang on the sidelines of the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Summit (SCO).

She will meet a more powerful Wang, who in March was elevated to China’s top diplomatic post of State Councillor. They are likely to discuss a host of “thorny” issues.

India-China ties were severely hit by the 73-day military stand-off near their border in 2017.

China’s opposition to India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and its application at the UN to have Pakistani terrorist Masood Azhar banned irks New Delhi.

In addition to that, New Delhi has reservations about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which cuts through the disputed Kashmir held by Islamabad.

After the military face-off in 2017, both sides are trying to restore normalcy to their ties by stepping up bilateral exchanges.

Sushma Swaraj, whose last visit to China was in 2015, is also likely to be meet the other top Chinese leaders.

India’s Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will also visit China next week and hold dialogue with her counterpart.

In June, Prime Minister Narendra Modi will meet Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Summit.

India and Pakistan were admitted to the China-led block in 2017.

(Gaurav Sharma can be contacted at sharmagaurav71@gmail.com)

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