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Sino-Indian border talks to be held in Beijing
September 26, 2013, 12:19 pm


China and India share a 2,000 km long border that has never been formally delineated [AP]

China and India will hold a two-day meeting in Beijing to discuss border affairs, says a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman.

The fourth Meeting of the Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination over China-India Border Affairs is scheduled from September 29 to 30, Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hong Lei said on Thursday.

The two Asian countries will discuss communication and cooperation between border control departments and specific measures on safeguarding peace and stability of the border region, Hong said.

“The border region has been, on the whole, peaceful and stable at present,” he said, adding that the border troops of the two countries have been meeting regularly and have maintained close communication and coordination on border issues.

China and India share a 2,000 km long border that has never been formally delineated.

In June, China’s Special Representative Yang Jiechi said his country was ready to “break new ground” with India on the historical border talks.

“I stand ready to work with you to build on the work of our predecessors and break new ground, to strive for the settlement of the China-India boundary question and to make greater progress in the China-India strategic and cooperative partnership in the new period,” he said.

The recent exchange of high-level visits and statements from Chinese leaders have pointed to a renewed sense of urgency to resolve the long-standing historical border dispute.

This comes in the backdrop of the US administration’s announcement of a “pivot to Asia” strategy in October 2011, which drew widespread suspicion and criticism in China.

America’s military pivot towards Asia, moving away from Middle East engagements and towards ensuring China does not dominate the Asian region has been a sore issue in Sino-US ties.

China and India began discussing border issues in the 1980s.

The two sides signed an agreement in New Delhi in January last year to formally launch the working mechanism.

The new body is headed by officials at the director general level from the Chinese Foreign Ministry and by officials at the joint secretary level from the Indian External Affairs Ministry.

The fifth China-India Strategic Dialogue was held in New Delhi in August where expanding trade and investment, including prospects of the BCIM (Bangladesh-China-India-Myanmar Regional Forum) cooperation were explored.

Consultations have been held on the feasibility of a BCIM economic corridor, a region host to 40 per cent of the world’s population.

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Wednesday that China and India are working to speed up the construction of the economic corridor linking the four Asian economies.

Wang met his Indian counterpart Salman Khurshid on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) on Wednesday.

The two neighbours will also hold their first joint military exercises in five years, scheduled to be held in China later this year.

China is India’s second largest trading partner and the nations have set a trade target of $100 billion by 2015.

Manmohan Singh, India’s Prime Minister noted earlier in this year that in 2012, China, India together accounted for 45 per cent of world growth in purchasing power parity.

With inputs from Agencies