India raised the issue of Beijing’s close ties with Islamabad during the high-level track-II dialogue to expand engagement between the two Asian giants.
At the second track-II dialogue, held at Manesar in Haryana on March 25-26, 30 delegates participated from India and China.
The Indian delegation highlighted China’s continued support, logistical and military, to Pakistan. The more you give them the more they gain in confidence. The more you do with them militarily boosts their confidence, was the message put forth according to a source.
The Chinese side tried to explain their investments in Pakistan by saying it aims to bring stability in the country which could further help in reducing terrorism.
While the Indian contingent was led by Ambassador Shivshankar Menon, Chairman, Advisory Board, Institute of Chinese Studies and former National Security Adviser and Special Representative for India-China Boundary Question (SR), the Chinese side was headed by former State Councillor and SR Dai Bingguo.
The Indian side also raised the issue heavy investment in CPEC (China Pakistan Economic Corridor), which it said is in violation of India’s territorial integrity.
The first round took place at Meishan, Chengdu, China in November 2017. The India chapter was supposed to be held in Manipal but due to logistics issue, the venue was shifted to Manesar.
India Today learnt that the two sides discussed issues ranging from boundary, military, terrorism, Pakistan, CPEC and BRI and how to move forward after the current electoral process is over.
Sources privy to the sessions said China raised concerns regarding India’s ties with America.
Sources said the Chinese side wanted to understand which way India was headed with US courting India. They raised concerns regarding India’s role in America’s Indo-Pacific strategy and the QUAD (an informal strategic grouping between the United States, Japan, Australia and India.).
Sources told India Today that the Indian side made it clear to the Chinese side that strategic autonomy is paramount to New Delhi.
Indian side insisted that they jealously guard their independence and autonomy.
The Indian delegation also discussed the concerns regarding designation of terrorists at the 1267 UNSC committee, to which the Chinese side said the decision was not made by them. It was a leadership-level decision.
This high-level track II grouping will be making recommendations to their respective governments and give feelers of what the other is thinking.
The initial dialogue in this series was held at Meishan, Chengdu, China in November 2017. Encouraged by the success of the latest dialogue, the two sides have now agreed to institutionalise it. The next round will be hosted by the Chinese side in China.