Move by both sides to iron out wrinkles in bilateral ties at high-levels

A month before Chinese President Hu Jintao arrives here to take part in the BRICS (Brazil-Russia-India-China-South Africa) summit, External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna will be in China as part of the move by both countries to frequently exchange high-level visits in order to resolve pinpricks that bedevil relations.

During a luncheon meeting between Mr. Krishna and his Chinese counterpart Yang Jiechi next Wednesday, the two leaders will also touch upon substantive issues including climate change, the situation in Afghanistan and the role of neighbours in stabilising the country and, above all, the western squeeze on Iran, which is a substantial supplier of crude to both India and China.

Meeting with Hu's successor?

Diplomats were trying to arrange a meeting for Mr. Krishna with Vice-Premier and Chinese Communist Party Polit Bureau member Xi Jinpeng, who is slated to succeed President Hu Jintao. Mr. Krishna will inaugurate the expanded Chancery at the Indian Embassy in Beijing to cater for the increased two-way traffic in recent years.

Mr. Krishna's three-day visit, beginning Tuesday, comes less than a month after high-ranking Chinese official Dai Bingguo came to India to hold the fifth meeting of the Special Representatives on the China-India boundary question. While the atmospherics were good, analysts noted Mr. Dai's article in The Hindu in which he discounted notions that China was preparing to attack India or derail its development. “China will remain committed to the path of peaceful development,” he said expanding on what he meant by “peaceful development.”

‘No act of impulse'

“It is not an act of impulse. It came into being in the course of reform and opening up and is firmly supported by China's state policy and strategy. It is not a policy of expediency. Peaceful development is a rational, strategic choice made in line with the trends of our time and China's basic condition,” he explained.

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