China, India target ‘fair, reasonable’ border solution

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

BEIJING - China and India Tuesday agreed to seek a “fair and reasonable” solution to disputes over their long Himalayan border, China’s foreign ministry said.

The joint commitment to resolve their border disputes followed talks in Beijing led by Chinese State Councillor Dai Bingguo and Indian National Security Adviser (NSA) Shivshankar Menon, the ministry said.

Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said earlier Tuesday that China was “committed to resolving the border question through frank consultations with India”.

“It is willing to make joint efforts with India to maintain peace and stability on the border,” Hong said.

India and China established a joint working group in 1988 to find a solution to the border disagreements. They still dispute large areas along their 4,000-km border after a brief war fought in the Himalayas in 1962.

They have held 14 rounds of talks since they appointed special representatives in 2003 to explore solutions to the disputes.

China occupies part of the disputed Jammu and Kashmir region. India accuses Pakistan of illegally ceding it to Beijing.

India alleges that China illegally occupies 43,000 square km of land in Kashmir, while China has laid claim to large parts of the Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh. It earlier also claimed Sikkim.

But booming two-way trade and increased dialogue between the countries has significantly improved bilateral relations in recent years.

During then Indian prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee’s visit to China in June 2003, India said it recognised the Tibet region as an autonomous part of China and Beijing recognised Sikkim as part of India.

Filed under: Diplomacy

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