China, India and Russia are set to hold their first joint foreign ministerial meeting in New Delhi tomorrow, looking to coordinate respective strategies in international relations as well as determine avenues for further economic and trade collaboration.
The meeting will conclude Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing's four-day trip to India which began on Sunday.
This is the fourth meeting between the three ministers in the last two years, following two sessions on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York and one in the Russian port city of Vladivostok.
Last July, President Hu Jintao, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed on close trilateral cooperation when meeting on the sidelines of the G8 summit in St. Petersburg.
Analysts say the meeting was of high significance since it pooled together three influential countries to tackle regional and global issues.
"It does not target any other country nor in any way is directed against the West," noted Liu Jian, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Their partnership emanates from close views on economic development and major global issues.
Liu added the three powers in the region were coordinating efforts on the international stage to carve out a bigger say in global politics and safeguard common interests.
Swaran Singh, associate professor at the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, spoke of the special responsibility these three countries must shoulder if Asia wishes to play a part in the formation of a future world order.
"The purpose of the trilateral meeting is to ensure stability and peace by promoting common values such as multilateralism in international relations," he said.
A possible agreement on economic cooperation, especially regarding energy, is on the agenda, said Madhav D. Nalapat, professor of geopolitics at Manipal Academy of Higher Education in India.
The ministers will likely touch upon matters such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Nalapat, adding that peaceful solutions to the Iran nuclear issue would also be weighed up.
Singh added all three countries must defend the UN's leading global role and discuss the rapid changes in Central Asia.
It seems that most observers are not expecting much concrete action from the meeting, saying it will focus on building common understanding, trust and approach. "The fact that they are meeting is in itself an important outcome of the endeavor of evolving a trilateral relationship," said Singh.
Nalapat stated it would be an occasion to show common concerns over Asian development and eventually lead to the establishment of a trilateral cooperation working mechanism before the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
(China Daily February 13, 2007)