India-China border talks to focus on delimitation of boundary, border mgmt: Chinese FM

NEW DELHI, Dec 20: The two-day India-China border talks between their special representatives in New Delhi will focus on delimitation of the border, boundary management, and a host of bilateral and international issues, the Chinese foreign ministry (FM) said here on Friday.
The Chinese delegation will be led by its Foreign Minister Wang Yi, while National Security Advisor Ajit Doval will head the Indian team at the boundary talks beginning on Saturday.
Wang, who is the designated special representative of China, would hold the 22nd round of border talks with Doval on 20-21 December, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesman Geng Shuang told the media here. “The special representative (SR) talks is the main channel and an important platform for our negotiations and strategic communications,” Shuang said.
The two countries, according to the practice, will hold the meetings in rotation, he said. Last year the talks were held in China.
“The two SRs will follow the consensus of the two leaders, (Prime Minister Narendra Modi, President Xi Jinping) and exchange views on delimitation of the border, boundary management and practical cooperation to seek a resolution,” he said.
“The two sides will also exchange views on bilateral and international issues of mutual interest,” Shuang said. The two officials held the 21st round of talks at Chengdu in China last year, during which both sides resolved to “intensify their efforts to achieve a fair, reasonable and mutually acceptable solution to the India-China boundary question at an early date,” an external affairs ministry statement had said.
“They underlined the importance of approaching the boundary question from the strategic perspective of India-China relations and agreed that an early settlement of the boundary question serves the fundamental interests of both countries,” it had said.
The annual SR talks are regarded highly by both sides as it is the highest official level forum with a mandate to discuss not only the solution to the boundary issue but also all other issues concerning the two countries.
The India-China border dispute covers the 3,488-km-long Line of Actual Control (LAC). China claims Arunachal as part of southern Tibet, while India contests it. The border dispute, besides a host of other issues, was discussed between Modi and Jinping during their second informal summit at Mamallapuram in October this year.
After his summit meeting with Modi at Mamallapuram, Jinping said “we will seek a fair and reasonable solution to the border issue that is acceptable to both sides in accordance with the agreement on political guiding principles.”
“We should carefully handle issues concerning each other’s core interests. We should properly manage and control problems that cannot be solved for the time being,” he had said in a statement after the talks. Jinping also suggested that both the countries should improve the level of military and security exchanges and cooperation. (PTI)