Afghanistan Brings India, China Closer

Despite their rivalry in Asia, neighbouring India and China are looking for a “common ground” for Afghanistan.
The two Asian powers have their differences on various issues, including India’s entry into the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). However, they have agreed to co-operate with each other in order to improve the political and security situation in Afghanistan. During his recent visit to Beijing, Indian Foreign Secretary Dr Subrahmanyam Jaishankar discussed the possibility of “joint development projects” in the war-ravaged South Asian country with Chinese Executive Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Yesui and Foreign Minister Wang Yi.
Upon his arrival in New Delhi on Monday, Jaishankar said that his visit was a successful one as the top political leadership in Beijing agreed to work together with New Delhi for the sake of the Afghan people. According to the foreign secretary, China is eager to hold “strategic dialogue” with India and to stabilise bilateral ties.
During their meeting, Zhang told Dr Jaishankar that China and India should normalise ties in order to ensure regional peace and stability. As the global community is experiencing a new “volatility”, the two neighbours should join hands to protect the world, said the Chinese executive vice-minister.
Foreign policy experts are of the opinion that China is trying to normalise ties with India mainly because of the changing global geopolitical landscape. They believe that US President Donald Trump’s surprise foreign and trade policy moves have prompted the Asian giant to boost co-operation with its southern neighbour.
According to a source close to the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, China – which has grown economically – finally admitted that India, too, has improved its position in the changing international system. The two Asian rivals have also started realising the fact that the new unpredictability, triggered by President Trump through various moves, would affect both of them. So, the source said, it will be important for India and China to bring down the volatility in Asia through co-operation and peaceful negotiation.
In Beijing, Dr Jaishankar and the Chinese leaders discussed various important bilateral, regional and international issues, with a special focus on restructuring of the UN Security Council. They held a separate discussion on Afghanistan as proposed by the Chinese government. At the end of the meeting, the Chinese leaders thanked India for carrying out developmental projects in different parts of Afghanistan, saying that Beijing “admires” New Delhi’s initiatives to help the war-ravaged nation make economic progress.

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