India and China inched a little closer on counter terrorism. While it might be too soon to believe China has softened its stand, the statement issued by the ministry of external affairs after the meeting of National Security Advisor Ajit Doval with State Councillor of China Yang Jiechi, said that the two sides agreed that the forthcoming high level counter terrorism exchange “is yet another manifestation of growing convergences of views of two countries on this pressing challenge' facing the international community.”
The officials also decided to maintain “the pace'' of high level exchanges in political, economic and defence fields . The meeting—held at the Taj Faluknama in Hyderabad on Friday—comes at a time when there has been tensions over India building an irrigation canal in Ladakh. The Chinese have raised objections to the canal being built and wanted to be informed prior.
Doval and Yang are the special representatives on the boundary question of India and China. The two had met earlier in April. The Hyderabad meeting was also significant as it was held just ahead of the special session of the NSG meeting being held in Vienna. It is expected that the issue of India's membership to the exclusive club will be taken up. India would also be hoping to gently nudge China to seeing its point of view on Pakistan and terrorist Masood Azhar.
A read out issued by the ministry of external affairs described the discussions as “friendly, open and cordial''. “The two sides appreciated that 2016 is an important year for bilateral engagement with President Xi Jinping's visit to India for BRICS and PM Modi's visit to China for G-20 Summit,'' the press release stated.
Both the sides also agreed that the consultations—where a pressing bilateral issues have been discussed—have helped “enhance mutual understanding''.