With five weeks to go before Prime Minister Manmohan Singh travels to Beijing, External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid on Monday said that the Sino-Indian boundary dispute is not an insurmountable issue, although it is a stumbling block to bilateral ties.
“It is a fact that we (India-China) still have an undefined boundary and therefore, differences in perception – something that appears from time to time to become an insurmountable problem. But we know, deep in our hearts we know, that this is not an insurmountable problem,” Khurshid said while inaugurating the first India-China media forum.
He also said that both India and China were “completely and totally committed to eradication and removal” of hindrances from bilateral ties.
Khurshid’s comment came at a time when New Delhi and Beijing are preparing for Singh’s visit to China in the third week of next month.
Singh had received an invitation to visit the communist country when Chinese Premier Li Keqiang came to New Delhi in May – soon after an incursion by China’s People’s Liberation Army on the Indian side of the Line of Actual Control at Depsang Bulge in Ladakh, which resulted in a three-week-long border standoff.
Foreign Secretary Sujatha Singh called the boundary dispute a “particularly difficult issue” that remained “unresolved”. She also noted that India and China had “differing perceptions” on certain issues and “potential differences on other matters”.