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

Beijing/New Delhi, June 29 (IANS) India and China Saturday concluded their two-day 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 talks were held in a productive, constructive and forward-looking atmosphere,” said a ministry of external affairs statement in New Delhi.

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”.

“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,” the statement 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.

A Chinese statement said the border disputes between China and India will be resolved through peaceful negotiations, with agreement to seek a fair and rational solution acceptable to both sides.

“The two sides agree to give full play to the (existing) mechanisms on border-related issues and maintain peace and tranquillity in border areas before issues are resolved,” a Chinese foreign ministry statement said in Beijing.

During the “constructive and fruitful” talks, Yang and Menon also exchanged views on bilateral ties as well as international and regional issues of common concern in a candid and in-depth way.

On Friday, Menon called on Premier Li.

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.

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 inside India 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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