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Meetings can strengthen cooperation consensus: China Daily editorial

chinadaily.com.cn | Updated: 2018-04-19 21:56

The upcoming visits of high-ranking Indian officials to China present a good opportunity for the two countries to discuss the sensitive issues between them, deepen mutual trust and open up new horizons for cooperation on both bilateral and multilateral fronts.

Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj is scheduled to arrive in Beijing on Saturday for talks with her Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. She will also participate in the foreign ministers’ meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on Tuesday.

The SCO’s defense ministers’ meeting is also being held next week, which Indian Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman is due to attend.

Both countries stand to gain by working closely together within the framework of the Eurasian intergovernmental organization, in which India is making its debut as a full member this year.

Last year’s military standoff in Donglang border area showed that the two countries’ border disputes still cast a cloud over ties.

Much needs to be done for the two neighbors to brush aside their mistrust, and frequent high-level dialogue is needed if the two neighbors are to dispel their mutual suspicions. The SCO meetings, culminating in the summit to be held in the Chinese city of Qingdao in June, provide a good opportunity for the two countries to build on the efforts both sides have made to improve their ties since then.

And with Pakistan joining India as a full member of the SCO last year, there are hopes that the two countries will take advantage of the Shanghai spirit of friendship and cooperation that is embraced by the organization to improve their bilateral relations.

This in turn would help overcome New Delhi’s wariness of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative, and allow the new Silk Roads to better fulfill their intended role of “shrinking the distances” between countries, in terms of both infrastructure and people-to-people links.

It would also increase the SCO’s relevance, both in the region and beyond, as it would enable the organization to better fulfill its goals of peace, security and stability in the region; and the establishment of a fairer economic order.

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