China’s foreign minister Wang Yi has landed in Delhi — the first high-level Chinese visit to India in more than two years, since the stand-off in Ladakh started. Sources said Wang Yi is expected to meet foreign minister S Jaishankar and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval tomorrow.
The aim of Wang Yi’s visit is to restart physical engagement and also invite Prime Minister Narendra Modi for a BRICS meeting to be hosted by Beijing later this year, news agency Press Trust of India has reported.
The suspense over the visit persisted till the last minute and there was no official confirmation of the visit even when the Chinese minister landed in Delhi. The landing could be confirmed only through tracking the flight path of his plane, which took off from Afghanistan.
India-China relations have taken a downturn as Chinese incursions became more frequent in Ladakh and led to the clash in Galwan Valley in which 20 Indian and several Chinese soldiers died.
Repeated rounds of military-level talks have led to de-escalation — the two sides completed the disengagement process last year in the north and south banks of the Pangong lake and in the Gogra area. But there has been no return to the status quo that prevailed before 2020.
On March 11, India and China held the 15th round of military dialogue to resolve the pending issues.
Mr Jaishankar had several rounds of talks with Wang Yi in Moscow and Dushanbe to defuse tensions.
In September 2020, they held extensive talks in Moscow on the sidelines of a conclave of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation during which they reached a five-point agreement to resolve the border row in eastern Ladakh.
They also had a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of another SCO meeting in Tajik capital city Dushanbe in July last year. Another meeting took place in September in Dushanbe.
The Chinese visit comes amid a fresh controversy over his statement on Kashmir at a programme in Pakistan. New Delhi had rejected the remarks, calling them “uncalled for” and underscored that Jammu and Kashmir is an internal matter of India and both Pakistan and China know that.