India and China have resolved to improve communication with each other and identified West Asia, Central Asia and Africa as areas where they would hold regular dialogue.
With Russia, India touched on most subjects but refrained from addressing issues relating to Kudankulam III and IV units, although most issues have been sorted out.
This emerged during bilateral meetings Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had with Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev which are a staple fare during multilateral conferences such as the BRICS summit that concluded here on Thursday.
At a 60-minute meeting with Mr. Hu, Dr. Singh agreed that there must be stronger communication between both countries so as to remove suspicions about each other's intentions.
In Central Asia, China has been spectacularly successful in its sourcing of hydrocarbons and India is also actively scouting for opportunities.
In Africa too, both countries are looking for opportunities in the minerals and hydrocarbons sectors.
With the dominant western narrative pitching both countries against each other in these regions and this view being taken up by think tanks here, the opening of dialogue to add to the subjects of maritime cooperation and sharing of oceanographic research data agreed upon last month would help provide more realistic inputs to the decision-making apparatus of both nations.
Mr. Hu agreed that trade imbalance must be addressed and promised that China would facilitate more Indian exports to its market.
With Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia holding talks with National Development and Reform Commission Zhang Ping earlier in the day, both leaders were suitably briefed about each other's economic priorities. Dr. Singh invited Chinese investments in manufacturing and infrastructure sectors, two areas where Beijing is strong but has felt stymied by New Delhi's rules and procedures.
On the border issue, they agreed that the current mechanism of Special Representative-level talks should continue and meantime, both sides must ensure peace and tranquillity on the border.
With Mr. Medvedev, who like Mr. Hu is on his last visit to India as President, the talks lasted for 45 minutes and began with both appreciating the direction BRICS was taking. In fact the prospects of the five-country organisations dominated the interaction but the two leaders touched on trade, and civil nuclear cooperation. Defence cooperation came at the fag end of the talks.
The Russian President raised the issue of cancellation of 2G telecom licences by the Supreme Court that has also affected Sistema, a company close to the Kremlin and in which Moscow has invested a substantial amount.
Mr. Medvedev and Dr. Singh felt satisfied over the sorting of problems relating to the first two units of Kudankulam civil nuclear plant but did not touch on the next two units due to the Prime Minister's continuing apprehension over the protests.
China mourns death but blames it on Dalai Lama
Despite Tibetan refugees trying to disrupt the visit of the Chinese President at every possible opportunity, senior officials from Beijing mourned the death of a protester after he immolated himself. At the same time, they regretted that Dalai Lama and his “so-called pro-independence” elements were trying to encourage fanatical behaviour by “glorifying this kind of extreme behaviour.”
At a press conference here, senior Chinese Ministry official Luo Zhaohui said such protests were not in keeping with the atmospherics of a multilateral summit.
“We are strongly opposed to that but welcome the commitment of the Indian government in recognising Tibetan Autonomous Region as an inalienable part of China and in not allowing anyone to engage in pro-Tibetan independence activity,” Mr. Luo said on being asked about the scattered protests that have been highlighted by the western media as a leading sidelight of the BRICS summit.
“We regret that the so-called Tibetan activists have created trouble for the Indian government and the Chinese side appreciates the effective and concrete measures in overcoming the disturbances and disruption which led to safe staging of the summit,” he added. “This is not consistent with teachings of Buddhism and it is aimed at political purposes. We are strongly opposed to it.”