Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s trip to New Delhi against the backdrop of recent friction in Aksai Chin, is being attached importance. The visit is seen to have led to a cessation of hostilities, at least for the time being, since no formal document or understanding as to how to resolve the dispute has come up yet. Prime Minister Manmohan Singh had a meeting with his Chinese counterpart that led to a commitment to foster peace and sustained economic growth as a means for mutual prosperity. The Chinese premier, referring to the border dispute as a ‘historic hangover’ cautioned that they needed to conduct dialogue on crucial issues in a sensible way. At the same time he categorically affirmed that Beijing was determined to build trust with India. A number of pacts and agreements were signed.
Now that tension in the Ladakh region is subsiding, new prospects are emerging even though in the initial phase, Indian Foreign Minister Salman Khusheed’s cancellation of his visit caused some dismay. There is talk of ‘handshake over Himalayas’, which aims to speed up joint cooperation in number of areas and also to boost their economic partnership as well as contribute to the world economy. The bilateral trade last year was recorded at $66 billion. Being a close friend of China, Pakistan wishes it well in its attempts to romp through its borders and security concerns. It is also good that Premiere Li Keqiang is not oblivious to the kind of ill-will resulting from the core issue of Kashmir. China’s relations with New Delhi are improving but would that oblige India to accept the offer of arbitration that recently Chinese government has made or would it still stick to its intransigence. Chances are that it will ignore the offer, just like it has been brushing aside the UNSC resolutions calling for a plebiscite in the held Valley. Prime Minister Li Keqiang’s trip to India has been significant for bilateral relationship and hopefully the advancement in ties would yield good news for Kashmir.