Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more

Border row put aside as Indian foreign minister arrives in Beijing

With a three-week Himalayan stand-off over, Salman Khurshid keen to shore up co-operation


Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid kicked off his two-day visit to China yesterday, laying the groundwork for the Chinese premier to visit India.

Khurshid held talks with his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, and today will meet Premier Li Keqiang, who is due to visit India on May 20.

Khurshid's trip came after Sunday's end to a three-week stand-off over a disputed area in the Himalayas, with both sides pulling back troops.

India said Chinese troops intruded into its territory and pitched tents in the Depsang Valley in Ladakh, Kashmir. Beijing denied the accusation.

Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said leaders of the two nations would exchange views on ties and co-operation on international affairs. "We are willing to take a constructive … attitude, and utilise the existing mechanism to maintain constant communication for keeping the peace and stability of the border area."

Sun Shihai, an expert in South Asia affairs at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said neither nation would let the border disputes derail ties but it was unlikely they would fully see eye to eye on the dispute.

Professor Wang Dehua , from the Shanghai Institute for International Studies, said both sides were trying to maintain high-level exchanges but India was still wary about China's military modernisation.

"There are fears in India that China will someday make further claims to areas in the Himalayas, and the status quo in the border disputes would be altered."

Ties are clouded by mutual suspicions that erupted after a 1962 border war in the Himalayas. But relations have improved amid booming trade, which reached US$69 billion last year.

Still, Indian officials are expected to call on China to address a trade imbalance, as the latest trade figures show China's imports in April were down 24 per cent from a year earlier.

The , published under , said positive signs and improved ties were expected from Khurshid's visit.

"Neither China nor India will underestimate the great potential and attractiveness of its neighbour's market," it said. "Therefore, in recent days, those fanatical and unrestrained voices … have failed to blind the peaceful majority to the potential of the Sino-Indian relationship."

This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Border row put aside as Indian minister arrives