BEIJING, June 18 - India today said it looks forward to strengthen its strategic partnership and mutual dialogue with China as the two sides held talks here amid differences over a host of issues, including the USD 50 billion CPEC and India�s NSG membership bid.
Minister of State for External Affairs VK Singh met Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the sidelines of the BRICS foreign ministers� meeting being held here to finalise the agenda for this year�s BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) summit to be held in September in China�s Xiamen city.
They discussed steps to strengthen strategic relations on the directions laid down by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping during their meeting at Astana recently. Wang referred to the fruitful and constructive meeting between Xi and Modi on the sidelines of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) on June 8-9 at Astana.
Xi and Modi have �laid down directions for us and both the countries to proceed with a path of mutual respect, mutual cooperation on how to improve the existing mechanisms so that more trade, commerce and people to people contacts can take place,� Singh said.
�We both are Asian neighbours, two growing economies, people with ancient relations, we mark the path for others to follow. India looks forward to strengthening and deepening its strategic partnership and mutual dialogue with China,� he said, adding he looks forward for many interactions with Wang.
Singh avoided making any reference to differences between the two countries including India�s sovereignty concerns over the controversial China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Beijing blocking India�s entry into the strategic Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG), besides a UN ban on Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) leader Masood Azhar.
India last month skipped China�s high profile Belt and Road Forum (BRF) under which CPEC comes. Beijing also opposed the visit of the Dalai Lama to Arunachal Pradesh which it considered as part of Tibet.
Officials said that both the governments are keen to find common ground on the contentious issues. � PTI