BEIJING: India sought China’s support for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) at a meeting between President Pratibha Patil and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao here on Thursday.
The Indian president who is in China on a six-day visit had indicated earlier that she will raise the issue of India’s bid for a permanent UNSC seat during her meetings with the Chinese leadership, said an Indian wire news agency ANI.
China, which is one of the five veto-wielding members of the UN Security Council along with the US, UK, Russia and France, has been saying that it supports India’s aspirations to play an important role at the UN, but wants an overall reform of the world body.
During the meeting between Patil and Wen on Thursday, bilateral issues were discussed particularly trade and commerce between the two countries.
Earlier, Wen warmly welcomed Patil and described her visit here as “significant” as it coincided with the 60th year of establishment of Sino-India diplomatic ties.
“It is a great pleasure to have you here. Let me welcome you to China. You are the first (Indian) President to visit in a decade,” Wen said, while welcoming Patil.
The Chinese Premier said the visit is “significant” as it comes at a time when the two countries are commemorating the 60th year of establishment of diplomatic relations.
Referring to the India-style Buddhist temple in Loyang in central China, which Patil will inaugurate during her trip, Wen said this is yet another effort by the two countries to promote friendly relations.
In her remarks, Patil said: “I am very much pleased to visit you in China and I thank for the hospitality extended to me and my delegation. Excellent arrangements have been made for the visit and I thank you for that.”
She also referred to Wen’s last visit to India. “We cherish your visit to India and remember your constructive role in building a strategic partnership between the two countries,” she said.
While Patil was accompanied by Minister of State for Food Processing Subodh Kant Sahay, Foreign Secretary Nirupama Rao, Indian Ambassador S Jaishankar, the Chinese team included Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and other senior officials.
India has been seeking support from several countries for its bid to secure a permanent membership in the UNSC. External Affairs Minister S M Krishna, who visited China last month, had also sought China’s support in securing a seat at the council.
Published in the Express Tribune, May 28th, 2010.