Neighbours, trade titans and sweet and sour siblings, China and India have upped the number of bilateral meetings in the recent past. Following the high level trade delegation led by Premier Li Keqiang earlier this year, foreign secretaries of the two nations have also been meeting to iron out both bilateral and multilateral issues.
During the first week in August, India and China met in Beijing for their first ever dialogue on Central Asia. Today (August 20), Indian foreign secretary Sujatha Singh will meet her counterpart, Chinese vice foreign minister Liu Zhen Min, in New Delhi to hold the fifth high-level strategic dialogue since November, 2010. Later this month, a high level Indian military delegation will travel to China to work out details of joint naval and air force exercises. The move is part of a larger effort to quell tensions over disputed territories. All these meetings will culminate in Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s visit to Beijing in October.
As Indian national elections are due in 2014, Dr. Singh’s Beijing visit might be one of his last foreign trips as prime minister of India, a significant sign off to Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s first trip as Chinese premier to India.
The increasing frequency of meetings is proof that both nations are attempting to quell differences between the neighbours. With China taking a more aggressive resolution to smooth over relations, India might be encouraged to dampen disagreements considering the Indian economy is floundering and support from her largest trading partner can protect her.
While officials from both India and China plan to discuss solutions to the impending border issue and ways to increase market accessibility to each other without destroying domestic markets, they will also discuss multilateral issues of energy security, territory and forming cooperative agendas on international conferences. Expect many more positive collaborations between our two nations in the future!