Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will attend the Russia-India-China (RIC) foreign ministers' trilateral meeting next week in New Delhi where he will also hold talks with top Indian officials, the first high-level dialogue after President Xi Jinping commenced his second term. Wang will take part in the RIC Foreign Ministers' meeting on December 11, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang told media briefing here today. During the RIC meeting, the three ministers will exchange views on major international and regional issues of common concern and deepen trilateral pragmatic cooperation, he said. "We believe under the joint efforts of the three parties, this meeting will achieve expected outcomes," he said. Media reports previously said the RIC meeting was planned for April this year but Wang did not confirm dates in the backdrop of China's protests over the Dalai Lama visiting Arunachal Pradesh in the same month. China claims Arunachal Pradesh as part of South Tibet. On the sidelines of the RIC Foreign Ministers' meeting, Wang will hold talks with top Indian officials, Geng said. "According to our information, Wang will meet with the top officials of India and detailed information will be released in due course," Geng said. Wang's visit is regarded significant as it is first by a top Chinese official to India after the Doklam standoff which strained ties between the two neighbours. The 73-day-long Dokalam standoff ended on August 28 after Chinese troops stopped building a key road close to India's Chicken Neck corridor. India had objected to the construction highlighting its security concerns. The road was being built by the Chinese troops in the area also claimed by Bhutan. Wang's visit to New Delhi is expected to be followed by China's top diplomat Yang Jiechi later this month to attend the 20th round of China-India boundary talks. Yang and National Security Advisor Ajit Doval are the designated Special Representatives for the border talks later this month.
Both the officials are also mandated to discuss the state of entire gamut of bilateral ties. The two sides have not yet announced the dates for the meeting. Yang has been elevated under Xi's second tenure as he was elected to the CPC's highest policy body, the Politburo. Observers say Wang's meetings with Indian leaders followed by Yang-Doval talks were expected to throw light on China's policy approach to India in Xis second term, specially his policy towards neighbours, which he had outlined at the CPC Congress. Contentious issues like China's repeated blocking of listing of JeM chief Masood Azhar, Chinese military continuing to keep large troops presence near the site of Doklam standoff even during winter as well as USD 50 billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor were expected to figure in the talks. Chinese officials in off the record conversations said differences over Azhar's issue may be resolved. From India to Vietnam, Singapore, South Korea and the South China Sea, China is recalibrating neighbourhood policy during Xis second tenure, Wang Xiangwei, former Chief-Editor of Hong Kong-based South China Morning post, said. In the Doklam Standoff and relations with Japan, Chinese propaganda machine has fanned a new round of nationalistic fervour against, the two countries, Wang wrote in an article in the Post recently, referribng to India and Japan. "Such tactics do not reflect well on Chinas international image. To the credit of the Chinese leadership, Beijing has taken note and started to adjust its diplomatic approach in recent months," he said. The first "seemingly abrupt change" occurred on August 28 when China and India suddenly ended their stand-off, he said. The second abrupt change occurred in September when China gave an unusually warm reception to the unheralded visit of Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, he added.
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