Salman Khurshid to visit China on May 9 as border standoff continues

Salman KhurshidExternal Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid (IE photo)

External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid will go ahead with his visit to China on May 9 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.

India has expressed hope that a solution would emerge from the process underway. There could be a third flag meeting as early as Friday, even though it is unclear what strategy India is likely to adopt. The second flag meeting on Tuesday had collapsed after China asked the Indian Army to destroy some of its positions in eastern Ladakh as a precondition for pulling back. (Also read: China sticks to stand on incursion into Ladakh)

Khurshid 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 says that "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 neighbours 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.

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