China, India, Russia seek co-op on int'l issues
Updated: 2013-11-11 08:49
By Pu Zhendong and Mo Jingxi (China Daily)
Beijing, Moscow and New Delhi should seek further high-level cooperation on international issues of common concern, such as counterterrorism and postwar Afghanistan, experts said ahead of Sunday night's three-party foreign ministers' meeting.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi arrived in New Delhi early on Sunday, joining his Indian and Russian counterparts Salman Khurshid and Sergey Lavrov for the 12th meeting of foreign ministers from the three countries.
In addition to meeting separately with Khurshid and Lavrov, Wang was also scheduled to attend the 11th Asia-Europe meeting of foreign ministers, which convenes on Monday.
Experts said that the existing cooperation mechanism between China, Russia and India, set up in 2002, is necessary because the three nations hold similar positions on many international issues and share common aspirations for development.
However, while experts agreed the mechanism should be expanded to address urgent security issues, opinion remains divided on whether it should be elevated yet beyond the foreign minister level to include meetings between top leaders.
Qu Xing, president of the China Institute of International Studies, said strengthening cooperation with Russia and India, China's two biggest neighbors, will help to maintain peace and stability in western China.
"Economic cooperation is likely to be a major focus of the meetings, though global security might turn out to be another heated topic," he said.
"The cooperative mechanism among China, Russia and India has not reached its full potential. Also, it is still not time to elevate the mechanism to the level of leaders," he added.
China, Russia and India, covering an area of 29.96 million square kilometers (22.5 percent of the world's land mass), are home to more than 40 percent of the world's population and have a combined GDP of more than 15 percent of the world total.
The mechanism, launched in 2002, has evolved into a platform through which the three states can boost trilateral trust and exchanges.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei lauded the mechanism on Thursday.
"The foreign ministers of the three states will exchange views on regional and international issues of common interest," he said. "Dialogue between China, Russia and India on a regular basis helps boost trust and expand collaborations.
"The meetings will achieve positive results and contribute to regional stability and peaceful development," he added.
Analysts stressed that the mechanism also provides a great opportunity for the countries to explore cooperation on counterterrorism and postwar Afghanistan.
"Next year, the United States is expected to complete its withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan. The war-torn state could then be haunted by a power vacuum in politics and security, which will directly affect the security of the three countries," said Wang Weihua, a researcher on South Asia studies at the Shanghai Institutes for International Studies.