Beijing, March 19: Chi on Monday promoted Foreign Minister Wang Yi as State Councillor, the country’s top diplomatic post which conventiolly entitles him to be the key negotiator on border talks with India. But Beijing was mum on whether he will be Chi’s point-person on the vexed boundary issue.
Chi promotes Wang Yi as State Councillor, mum on role on border talks
Wang succeeds Yang Jiechi, Chi’s senior-most diplomat, currently Chi’s Special Representative on border talks with India. So far, the high-level post of Special Representative has always been held by someone who had the background of Chi’s Foreign Ministry. Before being elevated to State Councillor in 2013, Yang served as the Foreign Minister. His predecessor Dai Bingguo was Chi’s Deputy Foreign Minister.
Asked if Wang will be Chi’s next Special Representative on border talks, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said: “The Chi-India special representative meeting is a high-level channel for the border issue exchange. It’s also a level high mechanism for exchanges between the two sides. “Chi attaches great importance to this mechanism. As (to) who will be the Special Representative, we will wait and see,” Hua added. While Wang will remain the Foreign Minister, Yang’s role was not immediately known.
If Wang is appointed the key man for border talks, he will deal with India’s tiol Security Adviser Ajit Doval, who is its Special Representative on boundary talks.
Chi and India by far have held 20 rounds of talks on their 3,448 km of disputed border. The countries fought a war in 1962 and have seen their armies cross into each other’s territories due to the different perceptions of the boundary. Wang repeatedly slammed India during the 73-day military stand-off at Doklam in the eastern sector of their border last year.
Wang, however, struck a positive tone about Sino-India ties while addressing the media on the sidelines of Chi’s ongoing annual Parliament session. Wang said if Chi and India were united, then one plus will be equivalent to 11, a remark welcomed by India and answered in similar tone. (IANS)