Beijing: After the din created by the US President's visit to India with apprehensions here that it was aimed at driving a wedge in Sino-Indian relations, China hopes External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj's forthcoming visit will bring back the focus on bilateral ties and crystallise a possible visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
“India subscribes to a balanced foreign policy, without swinging totally to the policies of any major country. China and India can still find areas in which to cooperate further, such as infrastructure and trade,” said Fu Xiaoqiang, Director of South Asian studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations a Chinese Foreign Ministry think-tank.
Indian envoy Ashok K Kantha said on Republic Day function here that the bilateral ties made “remarkable progress” last year with a host of initiatives by the two countries.
But at the same time doubts linger in China in view of Obama's high-profile three-day visit to India to attend the Republic Day function as the chief guest.
Western media reported at length about the upturn of India-US ties and the “shadow” of China looming over Obama's visit as Washington views India as a potential counterweight in Asia to China, the state-run China Daily said, pointing to references to South China Sea disputes.
Besides holding talks with her counterpart Wang Yi, Swaraj will be meeting Chinese President Xi Jinping who after his high-profile visit to India last year looking forward for a reciprocal visit by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in the next few months during which he would take him to historic city of Xian, the capital of his home province Shaanxi.
Modi's visit was expected to crystallise after Swaraj's talks which included his visit to Kailash Manasarovar in Tibet, making him the first Indian Prime Minister to visit the Himalayan region.
Officials say Swaraj's visit will begin with the phased implementation of some key agreements reached during Xi's trip specially the USD 20 billion investments in two Chinese industrial parks in India, cooperation in modernisation of Indian Railways including feasibility of Chennai-New Delhi Bullet train corridor.
The two sides are expected to review the implementation of Chinese commitments to provide better access to India's IT and Pharmaceuticals sectors in China to address the trade gap of about USD 38 billion in about USD 70 billion trade in 2014.
But more importantly her visit would set the pace for the 18th round of border talks in which National Security Adviser Ajit Doval would be representing India for the first time as Special Representative replacing Shivshankar Menon.