16th round of India-China border talks begin in Beijing today

Beijing, PTI | Updated : 28 June 2013, 09:54 AM

Special Representatives of India and China will hold the 16th round of boundary talks in Beijing on Friday, the first such meeting under the new Chinese leadership, to make another bid to move forward on the resolution of the vexed dispute .

National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon, who is the designated Special Representative (SRs) and his newly appointed counterpart Yang Jiechi, will hold talks amid recent assertions by both sides to seek an early solution.

Besides holding talks with Yang, Menon will be meeting Chinese Premier Li Keqiang during his two-day visit besides Foreign Minister Wang Yi, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying told the media in Beijing.

Li had visited India last month making his first visit abroad as well as Foreign Minister, "We recognise that the boundary question as an issue between the two countries. We are looking forward to finding a solution that is mutually acceptable to both sides", Hua said replying to a question whether the two sides would like to speed up the process to find a solution.

"But the boundary question is an issue left over from history (and) it cannot be solved overnight, but you should see that two sides have made long lasting efforts in order to solve the issue and a lot of achievements have already been made", she said.

She said both sides "reached preliminary consensus on the framework of the resolution. We would like to work together with Indian side based on consensus that has been reached between two sides to find an equitable and mutually acceptable solution pending final settlement of boundary question.

"We should work together to maintain peace and tranquillity of border areas and ensure boundary issue does not affect overall relations between China and India".

Friday's meeting is expected to focus on recent intrusion by Chinese forces in India's Depsang Valley.

The meeting would pick up the threads from the last round of talks held in December last year during which Menon and the previous long standing Chinese negotiator, Dai Bingguo reached a "common understanding" on the progress made during the last 15 rounds.

The border talks are currently in second stage of the three stage process which has been agreed in the beginning.

The first stage was to do the guiding principles which resulted in 2005 agreement on the political parameters and guiding principles for boundary settlement.

The second stage is aimed at working out a framework for boundary settlement.

Once a framework was in place the countries will proceed to actual business of drawing boundary.

India asserts that the dispute covered about 4000 km, while China claims that it confined to about 2000 km to the area of North-east Indian state of Arunachal Pradesh, which it refers as Southern Tibet.

Besides border negotiations, the SRs are designated to discuss all most all aspects of the relations between the two countries which meant that a host of issues from river waters, trade defecit as well as strategic issues including mutual concerns over their neighbourhood policies were expected to figure in the talks.

The deteriorating situation in Afghainstan ahead of US troops withdrawl was also expected to come up.

China, in surprise move, had earlier held talks with India on how to deal with the Afghan situation considering its own concerns over the impact in its volatile Muslim Uygur majority Xinjiang province.

China held similar talks with Russia and Pakistan.

First Published: Friday, June 28, 2013 09:46 AM
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