India and China will hold the sixth round of their strategic dialogue in Beijing next week, discussing bilateral ties as well as expanding cooperation on common regional challenges such as the situation in Afghanistan.
With the strategic talks taking place amid the on-going Lok Sabha elections, expectations here are that the discussions will likely be routine and focus more on regional and international issues. Beijing, analysts said, is likely to adopt a cautious, wait-and-watch approach before pushing any new major diplomatic initiatives with India until the new government takes charge in New Delhi next month following the elections.
Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh will hold talks with Chinese Vice-Foreign Minister Liu Zhenmin here on Monday, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said. Ms. Singh is also expected to call on Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
“The two sides will have in-depth exchanges on bilateral relations, high-level exchanges, practical cooperation, and on international and regional issues of mutual concern,” spokesperson Hong Lei told reporters at a regular briefing.
“This dialogue is an important activity under the China-India friendly exchanges year. We believe it will enhance our strategic communication... and provide a strong boost... to our two countries.”
Mr. Hong said on Tuesday that China’s position on territorial disputes with India “was clear,” when asked about Wednesday’s Lok Sabha and State Assembly polls in Arunachal Pradesh, on which China has made territorial claims. China has in the past issued stapled visas to students and athletes from the State to underline its position that the territory was disputed.