New Delh: India had flagged its concerns about Chinese construction activity in Pakistan-administered Kashmir during talks between Premier Li Keqiang and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid said here Tuesday.
“Chinese construction activity in PoK (Pakistan-occupied Kashmir) is a cause of concern for us. We raised the issue during talks… We flagged our concerns… We were assured they are development projects,” Khurshid told reporters here on the sidelines of an event.
Answering a query, he said the South China Sea had not figured in talks between Li and Manmohan Singh.
Khurshid said India and China had held very “specific” discussions without “shying away from anything”.
The prime ministerial talks ranged around “how are we addressing trans-border rivers, trade imbalance, aspirations as far as the United Nations is concerned… There was no shying away from anything,” he added.
He added that the talks were “very specific…very clear”.
Asked about the border issue between the two countries, Khurshid said: “The important thing is that we managed to sort it out, and we sorted it out given the existing mechanism.”
“We are trying to not let it happen again by looking at the possibility of discovering why it happened… how the mechanisms can be strengthened. It is a very satisfactory position,” he said.
“Nobody can solve overnight something that has been there for decades, but the desire and the determination to resolve is there. That itself is a very important thing,” he said.
To Premier Li’s suggestion that India and China combine their economic strengths, Khurshid said first China would have to sort out the trade imbalance with India. “Once the trade imbalance is sorted out, then we can think of it,” he added.
On Li suggesting that China’s western region where it is pushing economic growth could open its doors to India’s Look East policy, Khurshid said Li had not officially discussed the matter in India.
He described Manmohan Singh’s meeting with Li here and earlier with President Xi Jinping in Durban, South Africa, as both sides “essentially getting to know each other”. Xi and Li took office in March.
Li made New Delhi his first halt in his first foreign trip after assuming office in March.