Joint efforts urged to boost China-India ties

SCO has become platform for common security, collaboration, analysts say

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang (left) meets with Indian Foreign Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Goa, India, May 4, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

Joint efforts by China and India not only contribute to the agenda of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on important issues, but also bolster relations between the two countries, including on the border issue, analysts say.

China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Friday called on member states of the organization to uphold strategic autonomy and deepen security collaboration for regional peace while promoting interconnected development, improving global governance and building a long-term mechanism during the SCO Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Goa, India.

The meeting presented "an opportunity to dwell on the state of multilateral cooperation in the SCO, to address regional and global issues of interest, talked about the reform and modernization of the organization, and assessed the progress of admitting Iran and Belarus into the SCO as new member states", India's External Affairs Minister Subrahmanyam Jaishankar said.

The SCO has emerged as an important platform for collaboration, common security and development, analysts say.

Karori Singh, former director of the South Asia Study Centre at the University of Rajasthan in India, said India and China are jointly working with other members to strengthen the SCO, the G20 and the BRICS, and enhance security collaboration and joint development of all so as to prevent further polarization of the world and promote inclusivity.

Meeting Jaishankar on the sidelines of the SCO event, Qin also emphasized the importance of ensuring border peace.

The current situation on the China-India border is generally stable, Qin said, and both sides "should learn from history, grasp bilateral relations from a strategic height and in a long-term perspective", and "respect each other, learn from each other and enable each other's success".

Peace and tranquillity

Jaishankar said that during detailed discussion with Qin, the focus remained on "resolving outstanding issues and ensuring peace and tranquillity in the border areas".

The measures suggested by Qin for peaceful resolution of conflicts and disputes and working together for common development during the latest G20 foreign ministers meeting "were boosted by the bilateral understanding for cordial and friendly relations reached during the Goa meeting of the two foreign ministers", Singh said.

Swaran Singh, a professor of diplomacy and disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, India, said this time Qin's South Asia tour of Myanmar, India and Pakistan involved a number of multilateral and bilateral meetings, including the SCO Foreign Ministers' meeting in Goa, which included a 45-minute sit-in with his Indian counterpart.

China's Defense Minister Li Shangfu met his Indian counterpart at the SCO defense ministers meeting in New Delhi late last month.

Both sides are making diplomatic efforts to improve bilateral relations and are willing to make concessions, compromises and settle the border issue in a way mutually acceptable to both, said Haans Freddy, a professor in the department of political science at Madras Christian College in Chennai.

Experts said both countries are invaluable to one another in terms of trade, people-to-people exchanges and cultural exchanges.

"Let's hope that it is the beginning of a new chapter in Sino-India relations," said Sreemati Chakrabarty, chairman of the Institute of Chinese Studies and former dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Delhi.

India will host the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in New Delhi on July 3-4.

Aparajit Chakraborty is a freelance journalist for China Daily.

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