China’s Foreign Minister Wang Yi will now be its key negotiator with India on the vexed border issue after Beijing promoted him to the post of State Councillor, the country’s top diplomat, it was announced on Monday.
Wang succeeds Yang Jiechi, China’s senior-most diplomat, who until now was the country’s Special Representative on border talks with India.
He will also remain the Foreign Minister. The decision was taken at the ongoing annual session of China’s parliament.
Wang will talk to India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval who is its Special Representative on boundary talks.
China and India by far have held 20 rounds of talks on their 3,448-km disputed border. The countries fought a war in 1962 and have seen their armies cross into each other’s territories due to the different perceptions of the boundary.
Wang repeatedly slammed India during the 73-day military stand-off at Doklam in the eastern sector of their border last year. The crisis was resolved in August.
Wang, however, struck a positive tone about Sino-India ties while addressing the media on the sidelines of China’s annual parliament session.
Wang said if China and India were united then one plus will be equivalent to 11, a remark welcomed by India and answered in the similar tone.
India’s Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale last month met Wang who had a meeting with External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.
Wang had previously served as China’s envoy to Japan and worked at the Asia desk of the Chinese foreign ministry.