Nirupama Rao heads to Beijing with Kashmir message

Monday, November 15, 2010

NEW DELHI - With India making it clear that Jammu and Kashmir is its integral part just as Tibet and Taiwan are of China, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao Tuesday will hold the fourth round of strategic dialogue in Beijing. This is expected to set the stage for Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao’s visit to New Delhi next month.

Rao will go to Beijing from the central Chinese city of Wuhan, where she was accompanying External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna for the trilateral meeting of the foreign ministers of India, China and Russia.

Rao will meet senior officials of the Chinese foreign ministry and is likely to press the Chinese side for a clearer support for India’s claim for a permanent seat in the UN Security Council when Wen comes visiting here mid-December.

Backing reforms of the UN, China Monday joined Russia in lauding the role of India in international affairs as the three countries sought to deepen their trilateral cooperation in diverse areas ranging from counter-terrorism and non-proliferation of nuclear weapons to climate change and global economic issues.

During his discussions with his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi Sunday in Wuhan, Krishna conveyed a clear message to China that just as New Delhi had been sensitive to its concerns over the Tibet autonomous region and Taiwan, Beijing too should be mindful of India’s sensitivities on Jammu and Kashmir.

After the meeting, Rao said that Krishna had conveyed that there was a need for both sides to be sensitive to each other’s core concerns.

“In that context, (Krishna) spoke of Jammu and Kashmir and expressed the hope that China would be sensitive to J&K just as we have been to the Tibet autonomous region and Taiwan,” she said.

Rao added that Yang assured that China always believed the problem of Jammu and Kashmir could only be resolved through dialogue and negotiations between India and Pakistan and that there has been no change in its policy.

Rao during her Beijing visit is also likely to press Chinese officials to stop issuing stapled visas for Indian citizens of Jammu and Kashmir, that is seen by New Delhi as a deliberate move to question its sovereignty over its northern state.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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