NSA Menon in Beijing for high-level talks
National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon arrived in Beijing on Sunday for wide-ranging talks on bilateral ties with Chinese leaders, including the vexed border issue.
This is the first high-level Sino-India contact since China’s leadership change. During his three-days stay here, Menon would meet some of the new leaders elected during last month’s Congress of the ruling Communist Party of China (CPC) to succeed the outgoing administration headed by President Hu Jintao.
Besides holding talks with his counterpart and China’s top diplomat Dai Bingguo, who too would retire in March next year, Menon is expected to call on Vice Premier Li Keqiang, the number two leader in the seven-member new Standing Committee of the party headed by General Secretary Xi Jinping, according to official sources.
Li is tipped to succeed Premier Wen Jiabao when he steps down in March after which a new administration headed by Xi, who would replace President Hu Jintao, would take over power formally.
Menon, who is a familiar figure in the top echelons of the Chinese administration by virtue of his previous postings in Beijing including as India’s Ambassador, will hold talks with Dai on Monday.
The two officials designated as Special Representatives for the talks to resolve the border issue would review the progress achieved during the last 15 rounds of parleys and exchange views on a wide spectrum of bilateral relations, according to officials. This Menon-Dai meeting is not officially designated as the 16th round of talks apparently due to Dai’s impending retirement.
Successor to Dai, who in Chinese hierarchy is called the State Councillor, is expected to be announced soon. Besides talks with the Chinese leaders, Menon will be releasing the book on Chinese translation of the works of Prof P.C. Bagchi, regarded as India’s most eminent scholar on Chinese culture. Menon would also deliver a talk on India-China relations at the Indian embassy on December 4.
- Asian Tribune -