First India-China Dialogue on central Asia held in Beijing on 12-13 August
The first India-China dialogue on Central Asia was held in Beijing on 12 August, 2013. The dialogue was held in a cordial and friendly atmosphere marked by a high degree of candor. Mr. Ajay Bisaria, Joint Secretary, Eurasia Division, Ministry of External Affairs, led the Indian delegation. Mr. Prabhat Kumar, Joint Secretary, Energy Security, Ministry of External Affairs, also joined the delegation, to discuss energy issues related to Central Asia. The Chinese side was led by Mr. Zhang Hanhui, Director General, Department of European-Central Asian Affairs, Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China. The Indian delegation also called on Mr. Cheng Guoping, the Vice Foreign Minister, and discussed the similarity of Indian and Chinese interests in Central Asia.
The sides discussed the situation in Central Asia, focussing on the very similar Indian and Chinese approached to political and economic relationships with Central Asian countries. They had a conversation on specific issues like regional security and counter-terrorism, SCO, energy security, development partnerships, and people-to-people contacts with the countries of the region. The Chinese side briefed the Indian delegation on China’s vision of its relations with Central Asia while the Indian side described details of India’s “Connect Central Asia” policy. Both India and China are in the neighbourhood of Central Asia and have established close political and economic ties with the countries of the region. Both countries stated that strong relationships with the countries of the Central Asia region were an important priority in their foreign policy.
The dialogue reflected the growing engagement between the foreign offices of India and China and comes after similar comprehensive dialogues on Africa, West Asia, Afghanistan and counter-terrorism issues. The Indian delegation also interacted with scholars at the China Institute of International Studies (CIIS) and the China Institute of Contemporary International Relations (CICIR) in Beijing.
The Indian side invited the Chinese delegation for the next round of the dialogue in New Delhi.
13 August, 2013