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Ahead of a state visit to China May 24-27, President Pranab Mukherjee has called for an “all out” fight against terrorism, in which both India and China come together.
“India and China, both huge countries — multicultural, multiracial — if they come together in fighting this menace, I am sure it will have its own impact. And India always believes that every country should have a zero tolerance policy towards terrorism and the fight is to be all out,” Mr. Mukherjee told Chinese CCTV channel.
President Mukherjee’s words are significant as they come weeks after China’s decision to block India’s moves to ban Pakistani terrorist Masood Azhar at the UN Taliban sanctions committee. The move led to a strain in ties as India expressed its unhappiness over what was seen as an effort to shield Pakistan and Beijing refused to change its stand.
In the past few days, China’s statements on India’s admission to the Nuclear Suppliers Group, making it clear it believes India must sign the Non Proliferation Treaty (NPT) first, have also caused unhappiness in New Delhi. The MEA has made no official statement on the membership issue, which is likely to come up at the annual plenary session of the NSG in June, leading to speculation the government still hopes to bring the Chinese leadership around. On Tuesday, the Pakistani government told a US delegation that as a non-NPT nuclear power, Pakistan too believes it is eligible for entry to the 48-member NSG.
Speaking about the importance of his visit, Mr. Mukherjee told CCTV, “The state visit has its own significance as it provides an opportunity to the leaders to share their views, explore the possibilities of expanding cooperation between the countries’ concern and also they exchange their views,on individual, global and multilateral issues.”
Mr. Mukherjee’s visit marks the first Indian presidential visit to China since 2010 and is being seen as an effort to smooth over some of the issues that have come up in bilateral ties in his talks with President Xi Jinping. However officials said his programme, which includes a trip to the Buddhist pilgrimage place and business hub Guangzhou, would be “largely ceremonial”.
Source: The Hindu