Khurshid to visit China on May 9

Khurshid to visit China on May 9NEW DELHI: External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will go ahead with his visit to China on May nine notwithstanding the ongoing standoff between Indian troops and Chinese forces which intruded deep inside Depsang Valley in Ladakh ten days back.

Khurshid’s trip comes ahead of the visit by newly-elected Chinese Premier Li Keqiang to India later next month. A lot of significance is being attached to Li’s visit, his first abroad after becoming Prime Minister last month.

“I am going on May nine,” Khurshid told reporters when asked about his proposed visit to China.

The minister also expressed confidence that India and China will be able to resolve the situation arising after the incursion in Indian territory by Chinese forces.

Noting that there was a working mechanism between the two countries to deal with such issues, Khurshid said, “Let us allow that mechanism to find its solution and repeatedly it has found. And we have good reasons to believe that it should be able to do it again.”

Earlier during his speech at FICCI, Khurshid said “disagreement” on any issue is not “betrayal”.

“People ask me what is wrong with India that all its neighbors are not its friends, what is wrong with India? And I tell them, you have an idea of friendship which is different from mine. My idea of friendship is when you are frank, free with each other, you have expectations and you deliver.

“You agree and you disagree, but you have constant faith that a disagreement is not betrayal. A disagreement is like two intelligent people working out life plans and not necessarily kicking the heels saying one is right and one is wrong,” he said.

Earlier this week, India had asked China to revert back to the status quo position in Depsang Valley in Ladakh.

Khurshid also said that these things happen because there is variance of perception between the two countries as there is no demarcation of the Line of Actual Control.
Terming predictions of doomsday following the current standoff in India-China relations as absurd, Khurshid said, “Somebody asked me is the standoff with China going to dilute your friendship, will it derail your relationship with China, will it mean you will not visit China, will it mean the premier of China will not visit India?”

“Doomsday predictions are absolutely absurd. It’s absurd not so much for China as it’s absurd for us. Our duty is to serve India, not to serve China. Chinese foreign minister’s duty is to serve China and I believe that we have a mutual interest but our concern is our interest and our interest is part of a mutual interest and that is what is very fortunate for us,” he said.

The Minister underlined the fact that years of friendship should not be destroyed by “some little” thing going wrong.

“We shouldn’t destroy years of investment, years of contribution that we have made to this relationship because somewhere some little thing goes wrong. One little spot is acne which cannot force you to say that this is not a beautiful face.

“…That acne can be addressed by simply applying an ointment,” he said, adding this should not be considered as a surrender or admission of defeat.

“Ointment is part of the process of growing up just as acne is part of the process of growing up. And the relations between India and China is a relationship which is growing up.

We had started off as children who fought over something they needed, demanded or believe were there’s. They have grown up into two beautiful adults who can talk about these things and who can find a solution,” he said.

Asked whether the current standoff will impact trade relations between the two countries, Khurshid said, “If your relationships deteriorate then your trade will get affected, so that is why we don’t want the relations to deteriorate when there are no reasons for relations to get deteriorated.” -PTI