India, China hold crucial talks on border dispute
Grappling with the long-festering boundary dispute issue for the first time since a military face-off at a Himalayan plateau near Bhutan, India and China agreed yesterday that an “early settlement of the border question serves the fundamental interests of both.”
India’s National Security Adviser Ajit Doval and China’s State Councillor Yang Jiechi wrapped their 20th round of talks on the boundary issue here, said a statement issued by India’s External Affairs Ministry on Friday evening.
The statement underlined the significance of maintaining peace and tranquility along the border pending a final resolution of the boundary question, reports our New Delhi correspondent.
“The talks were positive and focused on bringing out the full potential of the closer developmental partnership between the two countries,” the statement said.
Doval and Yang, the Special Representatives on the boundary issue, held the 20th round of their talks and the first since the 73-day standoff at Doklam in Bhutanese territory in June-August this year.
The latest confrontation took had started in June when India rushed its troops to stop China’s People’s Liberation Army from constructing a strategic road in the Doklam. However, both the countries agreed to pull back their troops on August 28 after negotiations through diplomatic channels.
“The Special Representatives undertook a comprehensive review of earlier rounds of the talks and agreed that an early settlement of the boundary question serves the fundamental interests of both countries. They re-emphasized their commitment to achieve a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the India-China boundary question at an early date,” said the statement.
It said “the two sides agreed that pending the final resolution of the boundary question, it is necessary to maintain peace and tranquility in the border areas,”
“They acknowledged that as two large developing countries engaged in their national modernization, relations between India and China transcend their bilateral dimensions and have significance for peace, stability and development of Asia and the world. Both sides also exchanged views on regional and global issues of mutual interest,” according to the statement.
In this regard, the Special Representatives exchanged ideas on various confidence building measures, added the statement.
Doval and Yang “also reviewed the development of India-China bilateral relations and agreed to maintain regular contact and to advance the development of bilateral relations in all areas. They underlined the need for the two countries to build on their convergences, while seeking mutually acceptable resolutions of their differences with due respect for each other’s sensitivities, concerns and aspirations”.
After the talks, Yang called on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi who said a strong India-China relationship is important not only for the mutual benefit of the people of India and China but also for the region and the world.”
Sino-Indian relations have often strained partly due to an unresolved border and the two countries had fought a month-long war in 1962 and have been trying to settle the boundary since 1980s. The border dispute continues to bedevil relations between the two Asian nuclear-armed neighbours despite a recent warming of economic relations.