Xi Jinping’s aide holds talks with V K Singh

NEW DELHI, Jan 5: Amid efforts by India and China to improve their ties post-Doklam, a Chinese delegation headed by Meng Xiangfeng, a close confidant of President Xi Jinping and senior communist party leader, held talks with Minister of State for External Affairs V K Singh here today.

“Sustained engagement with China. Singh meets delegation of the International Liaison Department of the Communist Party of China (IDCPC) on a visit to India under the MEA-IDCPC Exchange Programme. Delegation is led by Meng Xiangfeng, Member of CPC,” Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.

The exchanges between the CPC and the MEA followed the visits of Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and top Chinese diplomat Yang Jiechi to New Delhi last month.

Wang’s talks with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and other officials on the sidelines of the Russia-India-China Foreign Ministers’ meeting last month set the stage for a broader dialogue on improving the relations this year.

The two neighbours had a roller-coaster relationship in 2017 which was repeatedly blighted by issues like the Doklam standoff, blocking of India’s NSG membership bid and moves to declare the Jaish-e-Muhammad chief Masood Azhar a terrorist.

The Doklam standoff began on June 16 after the People’s Liberation Army began building a road in area claimed by Bhutan. The Indian troops intervened to stop the road as it posed a security risk to Chicken Neck, the narrow corridor connecting India with its north-eastern states. The standoff ended on August 28. (PTI)