Indian Foreign Secretary Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, who is in Beijing to attend the first China-India Strategic Dialogue starting today, has said that China must address India’s concerns over sovereignty on Kashmir. Jaishankar will co-chair the dialogue at which bilateral ties and disputes are expected to be discussed. His remark came just before strategic talks began and experts believe that the issue will dominate discussions between the two sides.
When asked about India’s absences from the One Belt and One Road initiative that includes the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), which passes through Kashmir, a region claimed by both Islamabad and New Delhi, Jaishankar said, "For us, there are questions of sovereignty which need to be addressed first.”
India has repeatedly said that construction of the corridor in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir is a violation of its sovereignty over the region.
Talking to the Chinese media Tuesday on terrorism, Jaishankar said that counter-terrorism is one area in which China and India should make special efforts together.
"China has a very strong, principled position on counter-terrorism. We hope the position China already has will be further implemented," Jaishankar told Global Times, saying that discussions with China over the matter are still going on.
Indian officials from the Ministry of External Affairs and the Ministry of Finance unanimously stressed the importance of bilateral relations and expressed their willingness to boost ties with China, according to the Global Times.
Bilateral ties have been highlighted in recent months after India criticized China for blocking the United Nations from listing Pakistani national Masood Azhar as a terrorist and obstructing India from becoming a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.
Jaishankar also stressed that India is a founding member of the China-initiated Asia Infrastructure Investment Bank and is the second largest shareholder after China, and said India advocates connecting closely with China.
With inputs from ANI
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