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India for more dialogue, strategic ties with China

India looks forward to more mutual dialogue with China, Minister of State for External Affairs Gen. V.K. Singh said on Sunday as he met Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on the eve of BRICS Foreign Minsters’ meet. India also wanted to deepen strategic ties with China, the visiting minister said.

Ties between the two countries have taken a hit over a host of issues which range from India’s objection to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to China’s continuous opposition to New Delhi’s membership of the Nuclear Suppliers Group.

“India looks forward to strengthening and deepening its strategic partnership and mutual dialogue,” Singh said at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse.

He called the meeting between Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Summit at Astana as “fruitful and constructive”.

“They laid down directions for us and for both the countries for mutual respect and mutual cooperation,” he said.

On Friday, China said Foreign Ministers of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa would have a candid discussion on terrorism.

India might raise the issue of China blocking the ban on Pakistani militant Masood Azhar at the UN.

Azhar, head of the Jaish-e-Mohammed (JeM) terror group, is wanted in India for the January 2016 terror attack at the Indian Air Force base at Pathankot in Punjab.

China has also blocked India’s bid to enter the NSG. China argues that if India can be let in the NSG without being a signatory to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, why not Pakistan. On Azhar, China says evidence produced against the Pakistan-based terrorist is not enough.

The factor of Pakistan, China’s “all-weather ally”, comes into play in both issues.

At last year’s BRICS summit in India, China was non-committal on including the names of terror groups like JeM and Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) in the BRICS’ Goa Declaration.

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