The border talks will aim at averting another standoff like the one at Doklam

NEW DELHI: National Security Adviser AK Doval is likely to travel to China for a meeting with his counterpart ahead of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in June, according to persons familiar with the matter.

Doval, who will participate in the SCO NSA-level meeting to give impetus to the eight-nation grouping's anti-terror agenda, may also interact with State Councillor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi. Wang is likely to be appointed as special representative (SR) for boundary talks with India, according to reports emerging from the Chinese establishment. The NSA’s China visit is expected to take place closer to the SCO Summit, one of persons cited earlier said. Last December, Doval, who is also SR for boundary talks with China, had met Yang Jiechi (then SR) in Delhi for the last round of boundary talks. Earlier, at the height of the Doklam crisis last year, both had held talks in Beijing in what was considered as key in diffusing the standoff.

The border talks will aim at averting another standoff like the one at Doklam. Of late, there have been some incidents of transgression along the line of actual control (LAC) that divides India and China.

The two sides held a joint-secretary-level meeting recently on boundary issues and discussed confidence building measures.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj is expected to visit China for the SCO Foreign Ministers meet on April 24, and possibly hold bilateral dialogue with her Chinese counterpart. Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman will also visit China around the same time for bilateral meet as well as SCO Defence Minister meet. She briefly met her Chinese counterpart in Moscow this week.

These meetings are widely seen as setting the stage for a meeting between Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chinese President Xi Jinping during the SCO Summit.

India has welcomed the Chinese foreign minister’s statement on “tango between Dragon and Elephant”, but reminded China of sensitive issues that continue to cast a shadow on ties, including the Belt and Road Initiative.

Our position on OBOR/BRI is clear and there is no change. The so-called ‘China-Pakistan Economic Corridor’ violates India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.

No country can accept a project that ignores its core concerns on sovereignty and territorial integrity. 

We are of firm belief that connectivity initiatives must be based on universally recognised international norms, good governance, rule of law, openness, transparency and equality, and must be pursued in a manner that respects sovereignty and territorial integrity," an external affairs ministry spokesperson said.