Days after ‘exchange’ of words on Art. 370, Dr Jaishankar to visit China

Days after ‘exchange’ of words on Art. 370, Dr Jaishankar to visit China

Agency News

New Delhi, Aug 11: External Affairs Minister Dr S. Jaishankar will be traveling to China on Sunday on a three-day visit to co-chair the second meeting of the India-China High Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges.

This will be Dr Jaishankar's first visit to China after assuming office. Dr Jaishankar has been to Beijing as India's envoy between 2009 and 2013. The India-China High Level Mechanism on Cultural and People-to-People Exchanges will be held on Sunday, in Beijing and will be co-chaired by Wang Yi, State Councillor and Foreign Minister of China.

Interestingly, the visit of External Affairs Minister to China comes days after Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying had said that - "China is seriously concerned about the current situation in Kashmir..." - in the context of revocation of the Article 370. However, New Delhi had reacted to Chinese stance and MEA spokesperson Raveesh Kumar has said in reply to a question - 'India does not comment on the internal affairs of other countries and similarly expects other countries to do likewise".

'The Jammu and Kashmir Reorganization Bill 2019, introduced by the Government in Parliament on 5 August, which proposes the formation of a new “Union Territory of Ladakh” is an internal matter concerning the territory of India,' Mr Kumar has said. Several countries including Russia has appreciated India's stance that abrogation of the Article 370 - that provided special status to the state of Jammu and Kashmir - was within the Constitutional framework.

The decision to establish a mechanism between India and China to enhance people to people ties was taken during the Informal Summit between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Xi Jinping in Wuhan in April 2018. The inaugural meeting of the High Level Mechanism was held on December 21, 2018 in New Delhi.

"The second meeting will provide an opportunity to follow up on the outcomes of the first HLM meeting and discuss new initiatives for enhancing people-to-people exchanges between our two countries," an MEA statement has said here. The HLM reflects the desire on both sides to build greater synergies in the people-to-people ties between the two countries through enhanced exchanges in areas such as tourism, art, films, media, culture, sports.

During his stay in China, Dr Jaishankar will also exchange views with the Foreign Minister of China on the entire gamut of bilateral relations- including upcoming high-level visits later this year, as well as regional and global issues of mutual interest. UNI