Envoy lists steps to boost ties

Envoy lists steps to boost ties

Flags challenges to reducing trade deficit, moots India-China-Pak. trilateral

China’s Ambassador to India Luo Zhaohui suggested a “5 C” approach to bettering India-China ties with more “communication, cooperation, contacts, coordination, and control (and management of differences)”.

Delivering the keynote address at a day-long seminar organised by the Embassy of China in the national capital on Monday, Mr. Luo flagged the challenges in reducing the $50 billion plus trade deficit, given the low interest by Indian companies in doing business in China. Only four Indian companies had registered to take part at the upcoming China International Import Expo in Shanghai, Mr. Luo said.

More sugar, rice imports

However, he said as a result of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Wuhan to meet with President Xi Jinping , the two sides had taken steps to reduce the trade deficit.

“China will import more sugar, non-Basmati rice and high quality medicines from India to reduce trade imbalance. A new bilateral target has been set for $100 billion by 2022. India agreed to facilitate the establishment of Bank of China branch in Mumbai,” Mr. Luo said.

Earlier in his speech, Mr. Luo had proposed that India should join a “trilateral” mechanism with China and Pakistan, on the sidelines of the SCO.

“This would be a non-starter in my opinion,” Ashok Kantha, the Director of the Institute of Chinese Studies and former Ambassador to Beijing told The Hindu .

“Besides the fact that Indian policy is to only resolve its problems with Pakistan in a bilateral format, one must see that China would not be an unbiased partner in such a dialogue given its ties with Pakistan,” he explained, referring to China’s backing of Pakistan on terror issues like designation of Masood Azhar and the NSG.

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