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China sending special envoy to India

Updated May 30, 2014

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Chinese Premier Li Keqiang telephoned Prime Minister Modi and conveyed his government’s desire to establish robust partnership with the new government of India for further development of ties. — File photo
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang telephoned Prime Minister Modi and conveyed his government’s desire to establish robust partnership with the new government of India for further development of ties. — File photo

NEW DELHI: China is sending Foreign Minister Wang Yi as its special envoy on June 8 to boost ties with India even as Premier Li Keqiang spoke to Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday to secure what Beijing promises would be a robust partnership with the country.

Mr Modi, who has paid a few visits to China while he was denied visa to the United States, extended through Premier Li an invitation to President Xi Jinping to pay a visit to India later this year.

Describing China as a “priority” in India’s foreign policy, Mr Modi told Premier Li that he was keen on working closely with the Chinese leadership to deal with any outstanding issues in bilateral ties.

According to Press Trust of India, Premier Li telephoned Prime Minister Modi and conveyed his government’s desire to establish robust partnership with the new government of India for further development of ties.

Thanking Mr Li for his earlier message of felicitations, Mr Modi underlined his government’s resolve to exploit the full potential of “our strategic and cooperative partnership with China” and his keenness to work closely with the Chinese leadership “to deal with any outstanding issues in bilateral relations by proceeding from the strategic perspective of our developmental goals and long-term benefits to our peoples”.

Mr Modi also welcomed greater economic engagement between the two countries. The two leaders agreed to maintain frequent high-level exchanges and communication. Mr Modi, on his part, noted that China was always a “priority” in India’s foreign policy.

Mr Li’s phone call to Mr Modi came after Chinese government’s decision to send its Foreign Minister Wang Yi on June 8 as special envoy to meet Indian Prime Minister Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

Earlier, China had congratulated Mr Modi soon after the poll results were announced. China had formally greeted Modi and sent a special message through Indian Ambassador to Beijing, Ashok K. Kantha during his meetings with Wang and State Councillor and Special Representative for the border dispute Yang Jiechi.

Mr Li had also formally greeted Mr Modi immediately after he was sworn in as prime minister.

Published in Dawn, May 30th, 2014