India, China hold border talks in `forward-looking atmosphere’

Beijing/New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) India and China held two days of border talks in a “productive, constructive and forward-looking atmosphere”, including on maintaining peace and tranquility on the nearly 4,000 km boundary that saw a three-week standoff earlier this year.

The June 28-29 talks in Beijing were led by their special representatives – India’s National Security Advisor Shivshankar Menon and Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi.

The two officials “continued their discussions on a framework for a resolution of the boundary question, which constitutes the second step of a three-stage process”, said a ministry of external affairs statement in New Delhi.

“As directed by the prime ministers of India and China, the special representatives also discussed the maintenance of peace and tranquility in the India-China border areas including possible additional confidence building measures, ways and means of strengthening existing mechanisms for consultation and coordination on border affairs and methodology to enhance the efficiency of communications between the two sides,” it said.

“The special representatives also reviewed the status of bilateral relations in the wake of the recent landmark visit to India of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang. They discussed regional and global issues of mutual interest,” the statement said.

Menon called on Li Friday.

Li has been quoted as saying that China and India have “enough wisdom” to resolve their differences.

“China and India, as strategic partners and friends, have enough wisdom to resolve their differences. Both sides should view the border issue from an overall and strategic perspective,” Li said on Friday during his meeting with Menon in Beijing.

Li called on the two sides to strengthen communication in a bid to narrow their differences on the border issue and work together to safeguard peace and stability in the border area, Xinhua reported.

“I hope the representatives of the two sides could coordinate closely and contribute more effective work to promote new progress in the negotiations,” Li said.

The incursion by Chinese troops that began April 15 had figured prominently in talks between Premier Li and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh during the former’s visit to New Delhi in May.

Chinese troops intruded 19 km April 15 and pitched tents, raising tensions between the two countries. The row ended May 5 after many rounds of negotiations.

The two-day talks are expected to be followed by the visit of Defence Minister A.K. Antony from July 4-7.

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