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India backs trilateral dialogue with US, China


Washington : Backing the US proposal for an India-China-US trilateral dialogue, India has said there are a host of global and regional challenges on which the three countries can work together.

“There are a number of global and regional challenges on which India, China and the United States must work together,” Indian Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, a leading US think tank, Monday.

“We welcome the proposal Secretary (of State Hilary) Clinton made last July in Delhi for a trilateral dialogue between India, China and the United States.”

Mathai, who is on his first visit to the US as foreign secretary, was speaking on “Building on Convergences: Deepening India-US Strategic Partnership.”

Last year, Clinton had proposed a “strong and constructive” relation between India, China and US to solve “pressing issues of the 21st century”.

Last year, India, Japan and the US had held their maiden trilateral dialogue to discuss issues of common interest, a move that was viewed with unease by Beijing.

Amid differences between India and China over a host of issues, Mathai admitted that there are challenges in building a relationship with Beijing, but asserted that it was crucial for regional stability.

“China is our largest neighbour, a major country in the Asia Pacific region and a country with great global influence. We have considerable challenges in our relationship, but also enormous opportunities for mutually beneficial partnership at the bilateral and global levels,” he said.

“We will continue to invest in building a stable and cooperative relationship with China that is mutually beneficial, and also a source of regional stability and prosperity,” he said.

Mathai’s comments even as External Affairs Minister S.M. Krishna began a three-day visit to Beijing Tuesday to inaugurate the new Indian embassy building and to enhance bilateral ties.