Interaction with H.E. Le Yucheng, China’s Ambassador to India
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The VIF on Aug 6th 2015 invited H.E. Yucheng, China’s Ambassador to India, for an interaction on India-China relationship. Amb Satish Chandra, Lt Gen Ravi Sawhney, Amb Rajagopalan, Lt Gen JS Bajwa, among others, interacted with him on a broad range of bilateral issues, while General NC Vij, Director, VIF, moderated the discussions. In his opening remarks, General Vij underlined that while it is imperative for both China and India to keep their bilateral ties on a warm footing, India expects Beijing to be more transparent not only about its stand on the boundary dispute with India, but also on some of the economic initiatives China launched recently, initiatives with larger geo-strategic significance undercutting India’s sphere of influence in the region. He sought clarifications on the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), part of which passes through POK (Pakistan Occupied Kashmir), a territory India claims its own.

While the Director stressed that China needs to come clean on its growing parleys with the Taleban in Afghanistan, he cautioned that Beijing’s deep investments in Pakistan could come under severe strain should there be an implosion in Afghanistan. India’s deficit trade balance with China, growth of radicalisation in the region, ‘One road, one belt’ economic initiative of China, Chinese submarines stalking in the hot waters of the Indian Ocean, and Beijing’s stand on India’s entry to the elite UN club, were amongst other issues flagged for discussions with the Chinese Ambassador.

In his opening remarks, H.E. Le Yucheng gave a Chinese perspective of the bilateral relationship. He expressed satisfaction over the upward trajectory in bilateral relationship, especially since the elevation of Mr. Narendra Modi as the Prime Minister of India. The establishment of local leaders’ forum, the opening of Nathu-la passes for the Indian pilgrims to Mansarovar, and the creation two China-led industrial parks in India, are among new measures indicating the surge in bilateral relationship. Responding to the criticism over China’s alleged reluctance for an early settlement of the boundary dispute with India, Amb Le Yucheng said both countries need to build ‘a reservoir of trust’ before they embark on resolving the boundary dispute, a point hotly contested by the Indian interlocutors.

H.E. Le Yucheng further said India needs to take a benign long term view of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, adding it will help Pakistan fight the scourge of militancy. Continuing in the same vein, he remarked that by facilitating talks with the Taleban, China is attempting to secure the region. The Ambassador also sought to defend China’s increasing naval presence in the Indian Ocean on the grounds that it is part of an international assistance to help keep the sea lanes safer for maritime transport. He further said Beijing would welcome Indian naval ships making port calls to China.

The interaction ranged across a set of complex challenges plaguing the bilateral relationship. His Holiness Dalai Lama, the Brahmaputra River, the United Nation’s Security Council reform, and India’s trade imbalance with China, were among host of other issues discussed with the Chinese Ambassador in a frank and cordial atmosphere. Both sides expressed satisfaction that despite such serious differences, especially the bilateral relations wading through difficult negotiations, peace and tranquility has prevailed on the borders for than three decades, a feat unmatched anywhere else. China and India cooperating with each other on international trade and climate change negotiations was hailed as another display of maturity between the two nations, with H.E. Le Yucheng adding Afghanistan could well emerge an area of future cooperation between China and India. It was also recognised that greater exchanges between think tanks and people to people contact between the two countries are crucial to removing some of the misperceptions about each other.

Event Date 
August 6, 2015
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