Indian National Security Adviser Shiv Shankar Menon had plenty on his diplomatic plate during his three-day visit to China earlier this month. Apart from exploring new avenues of cooperation, the trip also focused on broadening existing bilateral ties and charting out a roadmap for future engagements.
With the trip coming after a year of renewed strains between the two countries, including reports of incursions by Chinese troops into disputed border areas as well as a spate of trade quarrels, Menon's task was by no means an easy one. Moreover, the trajectory of Sino-Indian relations has historically been unpredictable since the twocountries established diplomatic relations 60 years ago.
While trade has excelled in the past decade, a trust deficit has often triggered diplomatic stress. Chinese construction in Pakistan-occupied Kashmir, the issue of dual visas for those domiciled in Jammu and Kashmir, and Chinese encroachments on Indian terrain have all been sore points with New Delhi. More recently, China's plans to build a rail link into Pakistan through the Gilgit-Baltistan region -- a project that New Delhi feels may well alter the geopolitics of the subcontinent -- has also piqued India.