India and China on Monday agreed on a host of initiatives to improve their relations, with New Delhi emphasising that the future of the ties will depend on the mutual sensitivity to each other's 'core concerns' to ensure that any bilateral differences should not become disputes.
Making his first visit to China after taking over office, External Affairs Minister S. Jaishankar held candid talks with top Chinese leaders.
His three-day visit to China comes amid spiralling tensions between India and Pakistan over the revocation of special status to Jammu and Kashmir.
Before he settled for a structured talk with his counterpart Wang Yi, Jaishankar met the tough-talking Chinese Vice President Wang Qishan, a close confidant of President Xi Jinping, at the picturesque residential complex Zhongnanhai, where China's top leaders reside.
He held a frank discussion with Wang Qishan about the state of the bilateral ties in the context of China's concerns over the bifurcation of Jammu and Kashmir into two Union Territories -- Jammu and Kashmir and Ladakh.
After India revoked Article 370 last week, China issued two separate statements outlining its position on Ladakh and Jammu and Kashmir.
In one statement, China objected to the formation of Ladakh as a Union Territory by India, saying it undermined its territorial sovereignty.
It also expressed "serious concern" about the current situation in the region and said "relevant sides need to exercise restraint and act prudently".
Jaishankar said "the future of the India-China relationship will obviously depend on mutual sensitivity to each other's core concerns".
"It is natural, both as neighbours and large developing economies, that there would be issues in our ties. Properly managing differences is therefore vital. As our leaders agreed in Astana, differences should not become disputes. That is how India-China relations can remain a factor of stability in an uncertain world," he said.