In the midst of a war of words between India and China, an official Chinese newspaper on Friday spoke of a possible meeting between the Prime Ministers of the two countries next week in Thailand.
China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs did not rule out the possibility of a meeting between Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and Manmohan Singh taking place on the margins of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) summit in Thailand from October 23-25.
“The ministry is still consulting with relevant departments about Premier Wen’s schedule,” a ministry spokesperson was quoted as saying by the state-run English-language Global Times.
The paper also quoted media reports in India to say that a possible meeting between Mr. Wen and Mr. Singh could take place in “a sign of diplomacy amid renewed border disputes.”
Such a meeting would come close on the heels of a recent exchange of words on Prime Minister Mr. Singh’s visit to Arunachal Pradesh, which China said was “a disputed region” and India hit back. India has also asked China to stop offering assistance on a dam project in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir (PoK) to Pakistan government.
Meanwhile, in an apparent response to India’s call to halt assistance on hydro-electric projects in PoK, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Ma Zhaoxu said “the Kashmir issue is a question left over by history that should be resolved properly through consultation and dialogue by India and Pakistan.”