China, India and Russia will hold the first structured foreign ministerial meeting in New Delhi tomorrow to co-ordinate their thinking and strategies in international relations as well as explore ways for further economic and trade collaboration.
The meeting is expected to wrap up Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing's four-day trip to India which started on Sunday.
The ministers have met thrice over the last two years: twice on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in New York and once in the Russian port city of Vladivostok.
Last July, President Hu Jintao, Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed to push forward co-operation under the trilateral forum when they met on the sidelines of the G8 summit in St Petersburg.
Analysts say the meeting will be "very significant" as it brings together three influential countries to address regional and international issues.
"It does not target any third country nor in any way is directed against the West," noted Liu Jian, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Their coming together is due to the fact that they have practically identical views on economic development and major global issues.
He said the three powers in the region are coordinating efforts on the international stage to play a bigger role in global politics and protect common interests.
Swaran Singh, associate professor at the prestigious Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi said the three countries have a special responsibility if Asia has to contribute to 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 new agreement on economic cooperation particularly in the energy sector is on the agenda, said Madhav D. Nalapat, professor of geopolitics at Manipal Academy of Higher Education in India.
The ministers would no doubt discuss matters such as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Nalapat, adding that they would continue to look for ways to solve the Iran nuclear issue peacefully.
Singh added that the three countries would work to ensure that the United Nations plays a leading global role as well as discuss the rapid changes in Central Asia.
Most scholars do not expect many concrete results from the meeting, saying it will more 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 said the meeting would demonstrate the countries' concerns over the problems of Asian development and look forward to the establishment of a trilateral co-operation working mechanism among the three countries before the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008.
Source: China Daily