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China, India hold “candid” talks on border issue
February 10, 2014, 11:40 am

China and India share a 2000-km-long border that has never been formally delineated [Image Courtesy: MEA, India]

China and India share a 2000-km-long border that has never been formally delineated [Image Courtesy: MEA, India]

Top Indian and Chinese officials, that included representatives from the Defence and Foreign Ministries met in New Delhi on Monday during the fifth meeting of the “Working Mechanism for Consultation and Coordination on Border Affairs”.

State Councillor Yang Jiechi, the Chinese Special Representative on the boundary question will meet Indian National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon tomorrow to discuss the historical boundary issue.

Beijing on Friday said the border areas should become a “bridge and bond” between the two neighbours.

“China is ready to work with the Indian government to advance the process of negotiation so as to achieve a fair, reasonable framework acceptable to both sides so as to make the border areas into a bridge and bond between the two peoples to facilitate their exchanges and communication,” said Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei.

Indian Ministry of External Affairs said on Monday that measures to maintain peace and tranquility on the border were discussed in Monday’s meet.

“The talks, which were held in a candid, constructive and forward looking atmosphere, reviewed recent developments in the India-China border areas especially in the Western Sector,” read a Ministry statement.

The new landmark Border Defence Cooperation Agreement (BDCA) and additional confidence building measures were also discussed on Monday.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said last week that the two sides have already scored achievements in easing tensions in border areas and shared consensus to ensure peace and security.

“The border issues between China and India are problems left over by history,” Hong said on Friday in Beijing.

“An early settlement serves interests of both China and India, and it is a strategic objective set by the two governments,” he added.

China and India share a 2000-km-long border that has never been formally delineated. The two countries had a border conflict in 1962.

China and India established a special representative mechanism in 2003 as an important platform for solving border disputes.

The new Chinese leadership under the stewardship of President Xi Jinping has pushed for new impetus in “neighbourhood diplomacy” even as the US is gearing up for its much-hyped Asia Pivot.

The US has said it is going to deploy 60 per cent of its fleet in the Pacific, and equip the Pacific Command with the most cutting-edge capabilities by 2020. Beijing has criticized the US move as a bid to contain a rising China.

Addressing the Munich Security Conference recently, Fu Ying, Chairperson of the Foreign Affairs Committee of China’s National People’s Congress, said that the situation in Asia now is different from that of Europe in 1914, when countries were fighting for expansion in “the year of imperialism”.

The rise of China and India is peaceful and their expansion is “not for power or for war”, Ying said. She told delegates at Munich that Asia today is “an attractive place with prosperity and lasting stability”.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had claimed earlier this year that the current tensions between Beijing and Tokyo resembles that of the rivalry between Germany and Britain before the First World War.

The US Secretary of State John Kerry said last week that America would defend its ally Japan in the case of a possible military conflict with China even as a territorial dispute between the two Asian nations lingers.

“I… underscored that the United States remains as committed as ever to upholding our treaty obligations with our Japanese allies,” Reuters quoted Kerry.

“The United States neither recognizes nor accepts China’s declared East China Sea ADIZ and the United States has no intention of changing how we conduct operations in the region,” Kerry said.


 TBP and Agencies