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Gautam Bambawale, India's envoy to China, arrives in Beijing

By K J M Varma
Last updated on: November 19, 2017 19:06 IST
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A deft hand on India-China relations, Bambawale earlier handled the China desk at the MEA.

Gautam Bambawale, India's new ambassador to China, arrived in Beijing on Sunday, November 19, to take up his position.

Bambawale, who till recently served as high commissioner to Pakistan and earlier as envoy to Bhutan, will take charge on Monday.

A 1984 batch Indian Foreign Service officer, Bambawale succeeds Vijay Gokhale who took over as secretary (economic relations) at the ministry of external affairs.


A deft hand on India-China relations, Bambawale earlier handled the China desk at the MEA.

A Mandarin speaker, he also served as deputy chief of mission of the Indian embassy in Beijing.

His arrival in Beijing comes at a time when India and China are trying to put behind the Doklam standoff, and work on a 'forward-looking' approach in their ties.

For the first time after the 73-day standoff, India and China held a border consultation and coordination mechanism meeting in Beijing on November 17 during which the situation in all sectors of the border was reviewed. Both nations shared views on confidence building measures and military contacts.

The India-China border dispute covers 3,488 kilometres of the Line of Actual Control.

While China claims Arunachal Pradesh as southern Tibet, India asserts that the dispute covers Aksai Chin which was occupied by China during the 1962 war.

Both India and China plan a high-level dialogue next month, the first after the Doklam standoff.

Officials say Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will travel to New Delhi next month to articipate in the Russia-India-China dialogue during which he will hold talks with his Indian counterpart Sushma Swaraj.

This will be followed by the 20th round of India-China border talks headed by National Security Advisor Ajit Doval and State Councilor Yang Jiechi in New Delhi.

Both Doval and Yang are designated as Special Representatives mandated to discuss all issues related to India-China relations.

Photograph: Courtesy Indian High Commission in Islamabad.

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